PG&E, NRG & eSolar Developing 92-MW of Solar Thermal

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has entered into an agreement with Alpine SunTower LLC, a subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc., for 92 megawatts (MW) of renewable, solar thermal power. The Alpine SunTower project features eSolar’s solar thermal technology and is scheduled for completion in 2012.

The project will be located on privately held land near Lancaster, California, and could produce approximately 192 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. The project is part of eSolar and NRG’s recently announced plans to develop up to 500 MW of solar thermal power in California and across the Southwestern United States.
“PG&E is collaborating with NRG and eSolar to serve our customers’ future energy needs and respond to their demand for renewable resources,” said Fong Wan, senior vice president of energy procurement for PG&E. “The combination of NRG’s proven development skills and eSolar’s innovative technology can provide our customers with clean, affordable energy.”
Solar thermal power generates electricity by converting solar energy to heat, which boils water to create steam that turns a turbine. The spinning turbine then generates electricity like a traditional steam plant, but without burning fuel or causing emissions, such as greenhouse gases. eSolar’s concentrating solar power projects feature a proprietary combination of optics and software in a pre-fabricated form factor for cost-effective scalability. Its plants will be built in 46 MW unit solutions, each of which requires one quarter square mile of land.

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