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Concentrating Solar Power Projects Showed Growth in 2009

April 15, 2010

From: Power-Gen Worldwide

15 April 2010 — Three new concentrating solar power (CSP) facilities came online in the United States in 2009, the third year in the past four such facilities were added following 15 years of inactivity.

The 5 MWac Sierra SunTower from eSolar, the 2 MWac Holaniku trough from Sopogy and the 5 MWac Kimberlina linear Fresnel system from Areva Solar (formerly Ausra) came online during 2009. The Sierra SunTower is the first power tower operating in the U.S. in a decade and Holaniku is the first CSP facility to come online in Hawaii.

The 2009 CSP market summary was released April 15 by the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Also last year, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced two initiatives to speed the development of solar energy on public lands. First, four Renewable Energy Coordination Offices were established across the west (in California, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona), along with renewable energy teams in five other offices. Second, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) identified 14 solar energy projects that were in position to qualify for stimulus-related funding, if permitted during 2010. BLM and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have focused their resources on getting these “fast-track” projects through the permitting process so they can commence construction by Dec.31, 2010.

The trade association said the United States now has 432 MW of operational CSP plants in commercial production (as of March 2010), making it the world leader in installed CSP. At least three additional CSP facilities are likely to come online in 2010: a 2 MWac Stirling dish installation in Phoenix, Ariz., a 4 MWth trough plant displacing coal-fired generation in Grand Junction, Colo. and the 75 MW Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center hybrid trough in Martin County, Fla.

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