Spainsh power firms Torresol Energy and Abengoa have joined forces with US-based BrightSource Energy to form the Concentrating Solar Power Alliance (CSPA).

The organisation intends to educate US regulators, utilities and grid operators about the benefits of concentrating solar power (CSP) and of thermal energy storage.

CSP Alliance executive director Tex Wilkins said concentrating solar power technology is the only renewable resource that is capable of harnessing the sun’s energy to produce reliable, cost-effective, and dispatchable electricity.

"We believe CSP, with the ability to dispatch electricity when it is needed is critical in meeting the energy challenges facing the United States and the world," said Wilkins.

Torresol Energy senior vice president of development Felicia Bellows said through the new alliance the company expects to promote solar thermal energy as a sustainable source of power and therefore contribute to the protection of the environment for future generations.

The alliance’s mission strategy is to promote the increased adoption and implementation of CSP plants and will promote policies to encourage and advance CSP technology deployment in the nation.

CSP technologies utilise mirrors to concentrate the thermal energy of the sun to drive a conventional steam turbine.

There are currently about 500 MW of CSP plants operating in the US and more than 1,300MW of CSP plants are under construction worldwide, with many more gigawatts under development.