photo: Tessera Solar
Another day, another Big Solar deal.
Tessera Solar on Wednesday said it will build a 1.5 megawatt Stirling solar dish power plant outside Phoenix to supply electricity to utility Salt River Project.
The announcement follows Tuesday’s spate of solar power plant deals. As I wrote in The New York Times, utility Southern California Edison (EIX) agreed to buy 550 megwatts of solar electricity that will be generated by two massive thin-film photovoltaic power plants to be built by First Solar (FSLR). Later in the day on Tuesday, First Solar said that it had struck a deal with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to supply 55 megawatts from a PV farm to be constructed in Southern California’s Imperial Valley.
Tessera Solar is the development arm for Stirling Energy Systems, the maker of the SunCatcher solar dish. The company is developing two huge California projects — a 850-megawatt, 34,000-dish solar farm to be built on 8,230 acres to supply power to Southern California Edison and a 750-megawatt power plant complex for San Diego Gas & Electric (SRE).
The 60-dish Salt River Project solar farm is but a fraction of the California solar farms’ size but will serve as a demonstration project for Tessera’s technology.
Most notable, given the years-long licensing process for big solar power projects in places like California, Tessera plans to break ground next month and bring what it calls the Maricopa Solar plant online in January 2010.
Tessera will lease the project site from Salt River Project and sell the electricity to the utility under a 10-year power purchase agreement.