Caldwell Tanks Supplying Thermal Storage For Solana Concentrating Solar Power Plant

Louisville-based Caldwell Tanks Inc. has been awarded a contract to build 12 molten salt solar thermal energy storage tanks for a $2 billion project under construction in Gila Bend, Ariz.

The Solana Solar Power Plant Project is the world’s largest parabolic trough concentrating solar plant and the first large-scale solar plant in the United States capable of storing energy, according to a news release.

Caldwell will construct the tanks for the project through 2012, and the plant is scheduled to be in full production in 2013. The value of Caldwell’s contract was not disclosed.

The company plans to build the tanks at its facilities in Louisville and Newnan, Ga., the release said. The tanks will be used to store energy from the sun. The stored heat then can be used to produce energy during periods of low or no sun, including the evening hours.

Solana will produce enough solar energy to serve 70,000 households and will eliminate the emissions of 475,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year compared to a natural-gas-burning power plant, the release said.