Concentrating Solar Power is alive and well in America

This exciting chapter in CSP’s evolution demonstrates how the industry will work together to communicate CSP’s competitive value to win a greater stake in the US energy mix.

CSP’s history has taught us one thing about the industry, it is clear that having an industry goal with a strong CSP workforce behind it can drive change and open even more of the US energy market.

During the 2000s the re -emergence and growth of CSP after a long dormant period including a major threat of losing the Department of Energy (DoE) support has not been due to just the market changing, but the individuals and companies within the industry pushing for the changes with decision makers.

CSP is in the market now, but it did not just return by itself, the market was carefully prepared for years before the first PPA was signed by then SolarGenixs with Nevada Solar One. Unless decision makers knew about CSP the policies would not be in the industry’s favour and the market would never been in CSP’s favour.

Due to the vision and endeavours of Tex Wilkins, former Head of CSP at DoE, Fred Morse, Director of US Operations at Abengoa and Mark Mehos, Head of CSP at NREL, a report on CSP cost reductions was commissioned to Sargent and Lundy. With the collective efforts of the industry players, the outcome of this report, did the trick and prevented the DoE ‘s attempts to kill the CSP program.

With that threat gone, Tex, Fred and Mark drew their attention to enabling a 1GW CSP market in the South West, and today there is already more than that constructed or being built. Now the industry need to work hard to ensure favourable polices for CSP continue.

What is the 2012 strategy?

CSP Today USA 2012 (27-28 June, Las Vegas) is set to host CSP’s Strategy Planning Meeting: Communicating CSP’s competitive value to win a greater stake in the US energy mix, which Fred Morse and Tex Wilkins now the Executive Director of the newly formed CSP Alliance will form part of the key discussions on defining the industry goal. The session titled ‘Securing a CSP Stronghold – An Industry Goal Explored will also be joined by:

Kevin Smith, CEO, SolarReserve
Armando Zuluaga, Director of Corporate Development, Abengoa
Mercedes Sierra, CEO, SENER
Tex Wilkins, Executive Director, CSP Alliance
Richard Pangrazzi, VP Marketing, North America, Alstom
Gilbert Cohen, President & CEO, Eliasol
Stephen Wiley, SVP of U.S. Project Development, BrightSource Energy