Santa Monica, Calif., Sept. 29, 2011 — SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of large-scale solar power projects, announced that it has closed financing for the 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project to be built near Tonopah, Nevada.
The Crescent Dunes project will use U.S. developed technology and will be a commercial scale solar powertower with fully integrated energy storage. Through the use of energy storage, the highly efficient solar project will provide renewable electricity on demand — day or night.
The project is being constructed on federal land operated by the Bureau of Land Management. In November 2010, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed the project's thirty-year right-of-way and approval to construct.
During operations, the project will expend more than $10 million per year in salaries and operating costs, and is forecasted to generate $47 million in total tax revenues through the first 10 years of operation — contributing to workers' paychecks, service businesses, local school systems and police and fire departments.
Under the project's development agreement with Nye County, SolarReserve has committed to filling 90 percent of the construction jobs with Nevada residents, utilizing both union and non-union subcontractors.
As part of the project financing, SolarReserve is joined as investors in the project by ACS Cobra, a worldwide leader in the engineering and construction of power plants and thermal solar facilities, and the equity capital practice of Santander, a global financial services and banking leader. The project also closed on $737 million in project debt along with a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy.
ACS Cobra's Nevada-based affiliate, Cobra Thermosolar Plants Inc., will act as the general contractor using Nevada and regional subcontractors to perform the work.
As a result of the advanced energy storage technology developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a unit of United Technologies Corp., the project will generate more than 500,000 MWh per year (almost twice that of other solar technologies per MW of capacity), enough to power 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods. Nevada's largest electric utility, NV Energy, will purchase 100 percent of the electricity generated, under a 25-year power sales contract.