SolarReserve completes 110 MW solar power tower with molten salt energy storage

Santa Monica, Calif., February 9, 2012 — SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of large-scale solar power projects, completed the 540-foot solar power tower for its 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant located near Tonopah, Nev.

Using solar thermal technology, the Crescent Dunes Plant will be a commercial-scale solar power facility with energy storage that enables the plant to store energy for 10-15 hours at a time.

The project is jointly owned by SolarReserve, engineering and construction firm ACS Cobra and financier Santander. ACS Cobra’s Nevada-based affiliate, Cobra Thermosolar Plants Inc., is the general contractor for the project and is using Nevada and regional subcontractors to perform the work.

Construction of the facility began in September of 2011 and currently has over 100 workers on site. More than 70 percent of the construction workers are local Nevadans and 80 percent of the subcontractors are Nevada-based, including union and non-union firms.

Construction is expected to peak at more than 600 jobs on site during the 30-month construction period and is estimated to create more than 4,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs at companies throughout the U.S. that provide engineering, equipment supply and manufacturing, transportation and other value-added services. To date, orders for the project have been placed for equipment and services in more than 20 states.

The Crescent Dunes project has secured a 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy and will provide clean power to about 75,000 homes when complete. The project closed financing in September of 2011 using private equity investment from SolarReserve, ACS Cobra and Santander along with support from the Department of Energy‘s loan guarantee program.

Once operational, the project will expend more than $10 million per year in salaries and operating costs, and is forecasted to generate $47 million in total tax revenues through the first 10 years of operation.

The project is being constructed on federal land operated by the Bureau of Land Management. In November 2010, Interior Secretary Salazar signed the project’s thirty-year right-of-way and approval to construct. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2013.

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