Australian Government shortlists Acciona for 200 MW solar thermal project

 ACCIONA is the only Spanish company on the shortlist for the first selection round of the Solar Flagships Program; 52 proposals were received. ACCIONA proposes to build a solar thermal (Concentrating Solar Power, CSP) plant with parabolic trough technology at a single site either in Queensland or South Australia.

The Company brings extensive experience in solar thermal technology: two working plants in the US and Spain and a further three in construction in Spain (264 MW in all).

Acciona has been shortlisted by the Australian Government to build a 200 MW solar thermal plant as part of the latter’s Solar Flagships Program, an initiative aimed at developing solar energy in the country. ACCIONA is the only Spanish company among the 8 finalists in the program’s first selection round (4 solar thermal -CSP- projects and 4 based on solar PV technology) from a total of 52 proposals received.

ACCIONA’s proposal – selected by the Solar Flagships Council, the independent body responsible for project assessment and selection – envisages a 200 MW solar thermal parabolic trough power station at a single site in either Queensland or South Australia.

The next step for the ACCIONA is to present a detailed study and analysis before the Australian Government makes its final choice of applicants in the first half of 2011. ACCIONA will also be looking closely at the possibility of taking partners on board for this project.

Up to 1,000 MW in solar energy

The selection process currently under way is part of Round One of the Australian Government’s Solar Flagships Program, whose primary objective is to provide the foundation for large scale solar power generation – up to 1,000 MW – to play a significant role in Australia’s electricity supply and to operate within a competitive electricity market.

The AUD1.5 billion (1.06 billion euros) program comprises two Rounds: Round 1 envisages the installation of 400 MW of combined solar generation capacity (one solar thermal plant and several PV).

ACCIONA, a proven track record in solar power

ACCIONA brings extensive experience in solar power, with a total of five plants either working or currently under construction (making a total investment of 1.2 billion euros).

In June 2007, the Company grid-connected a 64 MW solar thermal plant – the largest built in the world in the last 19 years – located in the Nevada desert (USA). And since September 2009, Acciona is the proprietary operator of the 50 MW Alvarado solar thermal plant in Badajoz, Spain. Both plants utilize parabolic trough technology.

The Company is currently engaged in the construction of a further three 50 MW solar thermal power stations in Spain. Two of these plants – Palma del Río II (Cordoba) and Majadas (Caceres) – are scheduled for commissioning in 2010, and the third plant -Palma del Río I- in 2011. Acciona has entered a fourth solar thermal plant in Spain’s Pre-allocation Register for Special Regimen Installations.

Acciona also has an important portfolio of solar thermal projects currently under development in several states in South West USA.

Other renewables in Australia

Acciona Energy’s presence in Australia comes to 258 MW in wind power split between two wind farms: Waubra (192 MW) and Cathedral Rocks wind farm (66 MW). The Company is also building a 46.5 MW wind farm in Gunning, and is developing other wind energy projects in the country.

Acciona Energy focuses its activity on wind power. Its installed capacity in this field was 7,702 MW at 31 September 2009. It has implemented 271 windparks with 7,275 wind turbines (both for itself and for other customers), making it the world leader in the development and construction of wind farm facilities.