eSolar’s Sierra SunTower Named Renewable Project of the Year
5 MW Plant Honored by Power Engineering for Commercializing Breakthrough Solar Thermal Technology
PASADENA, Calif. – December 14, 2009 – Power Engineering announced the selection of eSolar’s Sierra SunTower facility, a state-of-the-art solar thermal power plant, as the winner of “Best Renewable and Sustainable Project” at the 2009 Projects of the Year Awards. Each year, Power Engineering magazine editors recognize the world’s best projects in four major categories: gas-fired, coal-fired, nuclear and renewable. The award comes less than four months after eSolar’s Sierra SunTower was launched and distinguishes the facility as an exceptional power generation project to meet growing global demand. eSolar celebrates this recognition along with its recent selection as a Technology Pioneer 2010 by the World Economic Forum.
“eSolar has created a new blueprint for concentrated solar thermal, one that overcomes the barriers of cost that have long stood in the way of the technology’s tremendous potential to deliver renewable energy on a global-scale,” said Bill Gross, CEO of eSolar. “Concentrated solar power is gaining a reputation for reliable utility-scale energy generation, and eSolar is pleased to be distinguished as the industry leader.”
eSolar unveiled Sierra SunTower, a 5 MW commercial-scale solar power plant, in August 2009. Located in Lancaster, California, Sierra SunTower is the only power tower facility currently operating in North America. Since completion, its thermal receivers have consistently produced super-heated steam with an average operating temperature of 800°F at a pressure of 900 psi. The facility delivers clean, renewable energy to the grid through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Southern California Edison.
As eSolar’s first commercial project, Sierra SunTower showcases technological innovations that address the key obstacles facing utility-scale solar installations. eSolar dramatically reduces costs by using less steel and more software. By leveraging advanced algorithms for precise sun tracking, eSolar utilizes small, pre-fabricated plant components to drive down costs. Projects can be developed on small parcels of land close to existing transmission lines, thereby overcoming environmental concerns.
The first of several solar plants planned for the Antelope Valley, Sierra SunTower delivered a boost to the local economy by creating nearly 300 jobs at the peak of construction; in operation, the site employs more than 20 permanent staff.
“The Sierra SunTower project from eSolar exemplifies the kind of creative thinking and innovation that Power Engineering magazine’s editors hope to foster through our annual Proj
Winners were announced at the Projects of the Year Awards gala banquet held on December 7 as part of the POWER-GEN International Conference in Las Vegas.ects of the Year awards program,” said David Wagman, chief editor of Power Engineering magazine. “The eSolar team is to be congratulated for this outstanding project, which was our hands-down choice as the best renewable energy project of the year.”
eSolar is an Idealab company founded in 2007 to develop, construct and deploy modular, scalable solar thermal power plants. eSolar’s approach marries a low-impact, pre-fabricated form factor with advanced optics and computer software engineering to meet the demands of utilities of any size for clean, renewable and cost-competitive solar energy. By focusing on the key business obstacles that have characterized large solar installations — price, scalability, speed of deployment and grid impact — eSolar has developed a proprietary solution to make a dramatic reduction in the cost of solar thermal technology. eSolar is based in Pasadena, California. For more information please visit www.esolar.com.