The 110MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant molten salt tower has been completed, thus marking a major milestone in the construction of what will be the largest CSP power plant in the world. Construction on the plant and the 540-foot tower began in September 2011 and is expected to last 30 months in total. The project was the controversial recipient of a US$737 million US DOE loan guarantee in September following the bankruptcy of Solyndra, another recipient of a loan from the US government.
Situated near Tonopah, Nevada, the project will be the US’s first commercial-scale solar power facility with fully integrated energy storage facilities. The plant’s operators have secured a 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy. Crescent Dunes was funded using private equity investment from joint owners SolarReserve, ACS Cobra and Santander, and also received funding in the form of the multi-million dollar loan from the US DOE.
“Completion of the solar power tower is a significant milestone not only for SolarReserve and our plant, but also for the solar energy industry as a whole. This project is on track to bring American innovation to fruition and is already creating jobs,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve.