Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project
|Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project|
Location of Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada
|Location||Tonopah, Nye County, Nevada|
|Construction cost||$0.975 billion|
|Owner(s)||Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC (SolarReserve, LLC)|
|CSP technology||Solar power tower|
|Heliostats||17,500 × 62.4 m²|
|Solar field aperture||269 acres (1,090,000 m2)|
|Site area||1,600 acres (647 ha)|
|Solar resource||2,685 kW·h/m2/yr|
|Make and model||Alstom|
|Nameplate capacity||110 MW|
|Storage capacity||10 hours|
|Annual generation||485 GW·h|
The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is a 110 megawatt (MW) net solar thermal power project is located near Tonopah, about 190 miles (310 km) northwest of Las Vegas. The project is currently in its commissioning phase. It is being developed by SolarReserve through its subsidiary, Tonopah Solar Energy, and anticipated to cost less than $1 billion.
The project includes 17,500 heliostat mirrors that collect and focus the sun's thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through an approximately 540-foot (160 m) tall solar power tower. The molten salt circulates from the tower to a storage tank, where it is then used to produce steam and generate electricity. Excess thermal energy is stored in the molten salt and can be used to generate power for up to ten hours, including during the evening hours and when direct sunlight is not available.
Under a power purchase agreement (PPA) between SolarReserve and NV Energy, all power generated by the Crescent Dunes project in the next 25 years will be sold to Nevada Power Company for $0.135 per kilowatt-hour. In late September, 2011, Tonopah received a $737 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Ground was broken on the project September 1, 2011. Construction terminated at the end of 2013, followed by several months of testing the plant systems. Melting about 70,000,000 pounds (32,000,000 kg) of salt takes two months. Once melted, the salt stays melted for the life of the plant and gets cycled through the receiver for reheating. The project entered commissioning phase in February 2014 following completion of construction. Commercial operation is expected to begin in mid-2015.
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the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar project near Tonopah is expected to be operational mid-summer
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