Abengoa, BrightSource partner to build US solar tower project

17 March 2013 (Last Updated March 17th, 2013 18:30)

Abengoa and BrightSource Energy have signed an agreement to jointly construct and operate a 500MW solar tower project in California, US.

solar tower

Abengoa and BrightSource Energy have signed an agreement to jointly construct and operate a 500MW solar tower project in California, US.

The proposed Palen solar complex will feature the world's two largest solar power towers, the companies said in a statement.

Abengoa will be the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the plants, and will also provide operations and maintenance services.

Meanwhile, BrightSource will design and provide the technology for the plants.

The Palen project will feature two 250MW units, which will be located in a Department of Interior Solar Energy Zone in Riverside County, California.

After completion, the plants will produce enough electricity to power 200,000 households and will prevent emission of about 17 million tonnes of CO2 over its life cycle.

The site had already received authorisation from the California Energy Commission (CEC) for construction and operation of a 500MW solar thermal project, but In December 2012, BrightSource filed an amendment to the existing permit seeking authorisation to deploy solar power tower technology.

Converting the project to solar power tower technology and a low-impact design will result in a lower environmental impact than would have occurred under the original permits, Abengoa said.

The new design will reduce the project footprint by 13%, from 4,366 acres to about 3,800 acres, and water consumption by 50%, by deploying a dry-cooling technology.

Each unit at Palen will be 750 feet tall, which will reduce the land required to set up a photovoltaic (PV) farm by up to 33%.


Image: Solar power tower technology takes up less space and consumers less water than solar farms. Photo: Courtesy of David66.

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