Nevada To Get World’s Third Largest Solar Electric Power Plant
Nevada Solar One, the largest solar electric power plant to be built globally in the past 14 years and the third largest solar power plant in the world, is on track to be built at Boulder City, Nevada.
The 65 megawatt concentrating solar thermal installation will use parabolic trough technology by Solargenix, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, formerly known as Duke Solar.
In parabolic trough systems, curved, trough-like collectors reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver, a pipe running along the inside of the curved surface of the trough. The concentrated solar energy heats a heat transfer fluid (usually oil) flowing through the pipe; this heated fluid is then used to run a conventional steam generator for electricity production.
The Department of Energy (DOE) says the technology represents one of the major renewable energy success stories of the past two decades and has a near-term potential to compete directly with conventional fossil fuel powered technologies.
This project will make Nevada one of the largest generators of solar energy in the United States.
Last month, Solargenix announced the approval of amendments to their Power Purchase Agreements with Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company by the Public Utility Commission of Nevada (PUCN) that will allow the project to move forward.
The Nevada Commission on Economic Development has approved some $15 million in sales and property tax cuts for Solargenix, the first solar project in the state to get a tax rebate. The commission has approved tax breaks for a geothermal plant.
The Solargenix plant could help Nevada Power meet state requirements that it get nine percent of its electricity from renewable sources in 2007. The so-called Renewable Energy Portfolio requires that the state get eleven percent from renewable sources in 2009, 13 percent in 2011, and then finally reaching 15 percent in 2013.
“We are most appreciative of all of the efforts by the many participants that helped make Nevada’s Renewal Energy Portfolio standard possible, including the PUCN, Governor [Kenny] Guinn, the Nevada State Legislature, the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection, Nevada Power Company, Sierra Pacific Power Company, the Nevada Development Authority and all of the citizens of Boulder City,” said Solargenix CEO John Myles.
Myles also explained that “many people are not familiar with concentrating solar thermal technology or its proven track record and capability to play a significant role in addressing many of the most important energy issues that confront America and the rest of the world.”
The DOE has issued a report that identifies suitable land and solar resources in Nevada that could produce over 600,000 megawatts of power generation using concentrating solar technologies.
Currently, Nevada’s electricity consumption is less than three percent of this resource capacity. The same report claims that the economic benefits far exceed the cost to develop this clean renewable energy source.
The Boulder City plant located in the El Dorado Valley is scheduled to begin production of electricity in early 2007. Myles added that, “critical major equipment and components have been ordered, land agreements are completed with Boulder City and interim financing is in place.”
Solargenix has collaborated with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the National Renewable Energy Lab on a series of solar research, design and development projects that have resulted in measurable success.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.