Nevada Gets First U.S. Solar Thermal Plant

Ausra Inc. announced it is building the first U.S. manufacturing plant for solar thermal power systems in Las Vegas. The 130,000-square-foot, highly automated manufacturing and distribution center will produce the reflectors, towers, absorber tubes and other key components of the company’s solar thermal power plants.

In November 2007, Ausra and California utility PG&E announced a power purchase agreement for a one-square-mile, 177-megawatt (MW) power plant. Ausra’s new facility will manufacture the solar field equipment for the PG&E project and for other power projects throughout the southwest. The factory will be capable of making over 700 MW of solar collectors per year and will begin regular operation in April 2008.

“Americans want clean power, and are tired of the market fluctuations, price increases, and pollution from fossil power plants. With market-priced solar power, we are entering the Solar Decade, in which massive construction of solar plants will take place. We are investing now in the systems and capacity to serve that need,” said Bob Fishman, president and CEO of Ausra.
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