Tessera Solar Sells 2nd Concentrating Solar Power Project on Federal Lands

AES Solar, a joint venture between the AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) and Riverstone Holdings acquired the 6,000-plus acre Imperial Valley Solar Project in California.

Tessera had intended to develop 709 megawatts (MW) of CSP using the Sterling engine technology owned by its sister company Sterling Energy Systems. But the company has had difficulty lining up financing. In December, it sold the development rights to its 850 MW Calico Solar Power Project to K Road Sun.

Both projects–though approved by state and federal authorities–have been threatened with lawsuits by environmental and Native American groups, who want to block development of the desert lands.

In September 2010, Tessera Solar cancelled plans to build a 250 MW power plant in conjunction with the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

Now, with the sale of the Imperial Valley project, Tessera has no more large-scale projects in the late stages of development, which means its unique SunCatcher systems are to go untested on a utility scale for the foreseeable future.

AES Solar said it intends to move the Imperial Valley project forward and is committed to working with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to fulfill the power purchase agreement (PPA) for the project.

Utility Southern California Edison (NYSE: EIX) cancelled its PPA for the Calico project, but new owner K Road Sun told Earth2TEch it plans to begin construction by the end of the year. In failing to breaking ground before the December 31, 2010, both projects became ineligible fore Recovery Act funding.