Boulder City, Nevada [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Acciona Solar Power announced that its Nevada Solar One project, a 64-megawatt (MW) solar thermal plant built over the course of 16 months, officially began supplying power to the Nevada Power grid this week.
The plant, which represents an investment of more than $250 million, uses large-scale, parabolic trough technology to enable heat transfer from the sun’s rays to generate up to 134 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. It is the largest-capacity solar power plant built in the world in 16 years and the third largest of its kind.
All of the plant’s electricity production is being sold to Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs). The PPAs will ensure fixed costs for the electricity, making solar power an economically feasible energy alternative over time.
Planned testing and additional ramp-up procedures are currently in process, with commercial operation expected to commence within a week’s time. Acciona’s official dedication ceremony for the Nevada Solar One plant is expected to occur in fall 2007.
“Solar thermal technology is one of the most exciting renewable energy sources emerging today that is scalable and commercially viable,” said Pete Duprey, CEO, Acciona Energy North America. “Nevada Solar One represents a new opportunity for large-scale renewable energy production in the United States, and Acciona looks forward to continuing our efforts in providing greater fuel diversity options in the North American market.”