SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of large-scale concentrated solar power projects, announced an amendment to the Development Agreement between Nye County and Tonopah Solar Energy LLC, SolarReserve’s affiliate, that will require 90 percent of the construction workforce come from Nevada residents for the company’s 110 megawatt Crescent Dunes Cincentrated Solar Energy project located in Nye County, Nevada. The solar thermal project is expected to create more than 600 jobs on-site during the peak construction period.
Final approval from the Board of Nye County Commissioners on this amended Development Agreement is expected by the end of August and will allow County officials to monitor the required 90 percent resident workforce commitment by Tonopah Solar Energy. Full notice to proceed into the construction phase of the project is anticipated in September of this year.
‘SolarReserve has put forward an unprecedented commitment to hire local contractors and laborers and develop training and apprenticeship programs,’ said Joni Eastley, Nye County Commissioner. ‘By working closely with SolarReserve, we are bringing new jobs and skill sets to our local community in Nye County and Tonopah.’
SolarReserve also announced that it is currently pursuing a program that will support localized hiring of veterans and family members of active duty military personnel during the Crescent Dunes project’s construction as well as operation. This program will be conducted in partnership with existing employment programs administered by the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the State of Nevada, Nye County, and local veterans’ organizations.
Tonopah Solar Energy has conducted public meetings in the Town of Tonopah to provide information about employment opportunities relating to the project construction and will continue to conduct additional meetings prior to the commencement of operations. Additionally, Tonopah Solar Energy has agreed to assist the Nevada System of Higher Education or other Nevada State approved Apprenticeship Programs in developing curriculum to train potential employees for the construction and operational phases of the project.
The 600 jobs are equivalent to in excess of 1.5 million man-hours for construction activities at the project site over the 30-month construction period. More than 4,300 direct and indirect jobs will be generated in the supply chain including manufacturing, value-added services and transportation, including offsite equipment and service suppliers across the Unites States. The project will employ 45 full time operational employees and will spend upwards to $10 million per year in operating costs. The Crescent Dunes project is also forecasted to generate $37 million in local tax revenues over the first 10 years of operation — contributing to workers’ paychecks, service businesses, local school systems and police and fire departments.
Upon completion, SolarReserve’s 110 MW Crescent Dunes project will be the largest molten salt power tower project in the world and will provide clean and renewable electricity to approximately 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods. The power from SolarReserve’s project will be provided to NV Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement approved by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission in 2010. The project’s innovative energy storage technology allows the generation of electricity from solar energy day or night. SolarReserve’s energy storage technology provides a genuine alternative to baseload coal, nuclear or natural gas burning electricity generation facilities.
SolarReserve, LLC — headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. — is a solar energy project development company developing large-scale solar energy projects worldwide. It holds the exclusive worldwide license to the molten salt solar power tower technology developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation. Since its formation in late 2007, SolarReserve’s team of power project professionals have assembled a concentrated solar power development portfolio of more than 25 projects featuring its licensed solar power technology with potential output of more than 3,000 megawatts in the United States and Europe, with early stage activities in other international markets including the Middle East, North and South Africa, Australia, China and Latin America.
SolarReserve is also developing 1,100 MW of photovoltaic projects across the Western United States, and is actively acquiring new sites to add to the pipeline. SolarReserve’s experienced management team has previously developed and financed more than $15 billion in renewable and conventional energy projects in more than a dozen countries around the world. SolarReserve is majority-owned by US Renewables Group with other investors that include Good Energies, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Nimes Capital, Pacific Corporate Group, CALPERS Clean Energy and Technology Fund and Argonaut Private Equity.
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.