Alstom and BrightSource Energy step up Concentrating Solar Power partnership

The agreement brings together Alstom’s extensive experience in the field of turnkey concentrated solar power plants and key power equipment (such as steam turbines) with BrightSource’s Luz Power Powersolar thermal technology. The agreement follows Alstom’s $55 million investment in BrightSource Energy in May this year.

Philippe Joubert, President of Alstom Power, said: “This partnership is a further step in Alstom’s commitment to solar thermal power, alongside its strong renewable power portfolio in hydro and wind power.”

John Woolard, CEO of BrightSource Energy, remarked, “Today’s agreements reflect the growing global demand for highly efficient, reliable and environmentally-responsible solar energy plants. With decades of experience building power plants, Alstom is an ideal partner as we expand into these markets.”

BrightSource Energy’s proven Luz Power Tower (LPT) technology produces electricity the same way as fossil fuel power plants – by creating high temperature steam to turn a conventional turbine.

However, instead of using fossil fuel sources, the company uses thousands of small mirrors called heliostats to directly reflect sunlight onto a boiler at the top of a tower to produce the high temperature steam. Once the electricity is created, the steam is air-cooled and piped back into the system in a closed-loop, environmentally friendly process. The result is carbon-free power, but with many of the reliability characteristics found in traditional power plants.

Mark Coxon, Alstom Power’s Senior Vice President Finance, commented: “This is the next step in Alstom and BrightSource’s relationship. Alstom’s plant integration experience and state-of-the-art power generation equipment in combination with BrightSource’s solar field and tower based technology will allow us to develop fully integrated solar power plants tailored to specific customer requirements.” Mark Coxon has recently joined the Board of Directors of BrightSource Energy.