In Saturday’s Los Angeles Times, I write about a ground-breaking solar thermal deal struck by eSolar of Pasadena, Calif., to build two gigawatts of power plants in China over the next decade:
ESolar Inc. of Pasadena signed an agreement Friday to build a series of solar thermal power plants in China with a total capacity of 2,000 megawatts, in one of the largest renewable energy deals of its kind.
Coming four months after an Arizona company, First Solar, secured a contract to build an equally large photovoltaic power plant in China, the ESolar deal signals China’s emergence as a major market for renewable energy.
“They’re moving very fast, much faster than the state and U.S. governments are moving,” said Bill Gross, ESolar’s chairman and the founder of Idealab.
Under the agreement, ESolar will provide China Shandong Penglai Electric Power Equipment Manufacturing Co. the technology and expertise to build solar “power tower” plants over the next decade. Those solar farms would generate a total of 2,000 megawatts of electricity; at peak output that would be equivalent to a large nuclear power plant. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The initial project, which includes a 92-megawatt solar power plant to be built this year, will be located in the 66-square-mile Yulin Energy Park in the Mongolian desert in northern China. The region has become a hot spot for renewable energy, with the 2,000-megawatt First Solar project planned 60 miles to the north.
You can read the rest of the story here.