"We are very pleased and honored by the nominations from our peers and the validation from CSP Today’s widely respected judging panel," said Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve. "SolarReserve’s energy storage technology provides a genuine alternative to baseload coal, nuclear or natural gas burning electricity generation facilities." The technology will be featured in the company’s Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada. In addition to the technology award, SolarReserve was also a finalist for CSP Today’s "Most Effective Environmental Stewardship of the Year" award.
SolarReserve recently received a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy for a $737 million loan guarantee to fund part of the 110 megawatt (MW) Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project to be built near Tonopah, Nev. Construction is slated for the summer of 2011 with a projected start of operations in late 2013. The project will create in excess of 4,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and, upon completion, the project will provide firm, non-intermittent and renewable electricity to approximately 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods.
SolarReserve’s solar power tower technology generates power from sunlight by focusing the sun’s thermal energy onto a central receiver. When electricity is needed, molten salt heated by a receiver at the top of the tower is sent to a heat exchanger to produce steam, which in turn drives a conventional steam turbine electrical generator. The cooler molten salt is stored, ready to be reheated by the sun and used again as part of a continuous closed loop. This integrated energy storage allows the technology to deploy electricity on-demand, day and night, providing the same operating stability, reliability and dispatchability of a conventional power generator. The system is completely self-sustaining and emissions free – no fossil fuels are required.
SolarReserve’s molten salt, concentrating solar power tower technology was successfully demonstrated in California under a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored pilot project in the late 1990s. The 10-megawatt pilot facility utilized a molten salt receiver designed, engineered and assembled by Rocketdyne, now a part of United Technologies Corporation.