Albiasa to supply Hawaii?s largest solar power plant

Albiasa Corporation (Albiasa), a leading developer and supplier of advanced solar thermal technology, announced that it has received a letter of intent from Pacific Light & Power (PLP) for the supply of solar collection and thermal energy storage technology and equipment for its 10 MW PLP Kauai 1 project in Hawaii.

PLP is a developer of hybrid utility scale renewable power generation facilities which utilize traditional renewable technologies, such as solar energy and wind power, coupled with resource intermittency mitigation components, including thermal storage, biofuel oxidation and hydro that together enhance electric grid stability and reliability. Albiasa has already completed substantial preliminary engineering and is now working on design optimization activities.

Albiasa and PLP are also working with Ram Power, Inc. (RPI) to incorporate within PLP Kauai 1 RPI’s well demonstrated technology for thermal to electrical power conversion. RPI’s technology combines traditional steam turbine equipment with an organic rankine cycle to extend power production from solar resources and enhance part load performance.

Situated on 100 acres of dormant farm land between the towns of Kekaha and Waimea on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, PLP Kauai 1 will be the first utility scale renewable power generation facility in Kauai and the largest solar project in Hawaii. PLP is currently negotiating a long term power purchase agreement with Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC).

Construction of the Concentrating Solar Power is scheduled to begin late this year and could be completed as early as the end of 2011. PLP Kauai 1 will include up to three hours of heat transfer fluid storage with the flexibility to shift power generation during the day in a manner most valuable to KIUC.

PLP has chosen Albiasa’s solar thermal technology for its increased reliability over PV systems and effectiveness in broader weather conditions. Additionally, the Albiasa parabolic trough performs at the highest certified geometric efficiency and offers a 30% cost reduction versus comparable technology.

The PLP solar thermal field technology is provided under a guarantee structure agreement. Albiasa has successfully developed 63 MW of solar projects with 50 MW integrating their parabolic trough technology, and will provide 1,488 parabolic troughs for this project.

The team of PLP, RPI and Albiasa is very enthusiastic about this opportunity to demonstrate traditional renewable power generation with intermittency mitigation in a cost competitive manner. The solar collection, thermal energy storage and thermal to electrical power conversion components of PLP Kauai 1 will be supplied with credit enhanced performance guarantees.

"Solar power is a very important development for PLP and investing in this type of renewable energy technology strengthens our services to the residents of Hawaii," said Dick Roth, CEO of Pacific Light & Power. "Incorporating Albiasa technology and engineering services will help us deliver a high yield and cost effective clean energy source and ultimately enable us to deliver better rates for our customers."

Solar thermal parabolic trough technology works by precisely arranging mirrors to capture the sun’s heat. These mirrors focus sunlight onto a tube filled with heat transfer fluid, which is passed to a heat exchanger that generates steam to power Rankine and Organic Rankine cycle turbines. In this closed system arrangement, there is no need for new supplies of water, as the water cycles back through the system.

Albiasa is currently working with PLP providing engineering services for the design of the solar field. In addition to supplying parabolic trough technology, Albiasa has developed solar projects on the mainland U.S. ranging from sizes of tens of megawatts to utility-scale projects.

"Commencing this 10 MW field in Kauai is a great step forward, not only for the renewable energy resources provided to the residents of Hawaii, but as a testament to the reliability of today’s solar technology," said Jesse Tippett, managing director of Albiasa Corporation. "This project shows that we can replicate smaller solar farms and projects across the U.S. and further the growing adoption of renewable energy."

About the Project

Energy Produced: 10 MW/year or equivalent of 8,000 single family homes/year
Project Partners: Pacific Light & Power, Ram Power Inc., Albiasa Corporation, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative
Technology: Parabolic Trough CSP
Thermal Storage: 2 Hours
Location: Between Kekaha and Waimea, Kauai
Size: approximately 100 acres
Start of Construction: 4th Quarter 2010
Commercial Operation: 4th Quarter 2011

Albiasa designs, develops and supports the most innovative photovoltaic and thermoelectric solar power plants in the world while supplying the industry’s best parabolic trough. Our company’s world-class project development capabilities provide PV/CSP project flexibility while delivering unparalleled performance and cost efficiency for solar power projects.

Albiasa has a proven track record and expertise in project development, power purchase agreement development, R&D and engineering. Albiasa Corporation is a U.S.-based subsidiary of Albiasa Solar. The U.S. headquarters in San Francisco currently manages all North American projects, including a 200 MW thermosolar plan in the Mohave County.