NV GETS SOLAR POWER TOWER & STORAGE
Solar Thermal With Molten Salt Energy Storage: SolarReserve Heads to Nevada
Jeff St. John, December 22, 2009 (Greentech Media)
"…SolarReserve says it can [store solar energy using molten salts] and it's landed a project with NV Energy to prove it…[I]t has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Nevada utility to buy power from a 100-megawatt solar-thermal plant to be built near the town of Tonopah, Nev.
"SolarReserve, which last year raised $140 million in a Series B round let by Citi's Sustainable Development Investments and Good Energies, said it intends to start construction next year, though the Nevada Public Utilities Commission still needs to sign off on the deal."
click to enlarge
"Central to SolarReserve's plans is the molten salt energy storage system it has licensed from United Technologies. Like many solar-thermal systems, SolarReserve uses a field of mirrors, or heliostats, to focus the sun's heat on a tower to heat a liquid to power a turbine."
A solar power tower. (click to enlarge)
"…[The] liquid is a molten salt that is then pumped into a closed-loop system to generate steam to power a turbine. It's the same technology tested out by the Department of Energy in the landmark Barstow, Calif. solar thermal pilot project known as Solar Two back in the 1990s.
"SolarReserve also hopes to build a 150-megawatt solar thermal and molten salt storage project east of Palm Springs, Calif., and has a longer-range goal of building up to 5 gigawatts of plants in the coming years."