ABB part of U.S. solar power project

May 19, 2009

CARY, N.C. – ABB has announced that it has secured its first solar thermal power project in North America with eSolar, producer of scalable solar thermal power plants, based in Pasadena, Calif.

ABB has provided eSolar equipment and engineering services in the development of the Sierra commercial demonstration facility in California. The delivery includes System 800xA for power plant control.

The Sierra project is a solar thermal power plant design consisting of two solar light receivers, with each receiver being supported by a field of 12,000 heliostat reflectors. The reflected light from each heliostat is captured at the receiver and used to convert water to steam.

eSolar selected ABB because of its power generation balance of plant expertise, its ability to co-develop the balance of plant controls design and meet accelerated project schedule demands, and because ABB is an established international power and automation solutions provider.
“We quickly realized that ABB possessed the elements to play a critical role in the development of our Sierra project,” said Bill Gross, eSolar CEO. “Coupling ABB’s technology expertise with eSolar’s concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) innovation, our first CSP demonstration site in Sierra will be a model for industry success and also demonstrate the viability of this technology moving forward.”

“The solar power niche within the renewable power industry is in its infancy and will soon be in exponential growth mode,” said Kevin McAllister, Head of ABB’s Power Generation division in North America. “ABB is contracted to work with eSolar to deploy a solution that makes a dramatic reduction in the cost of solar thermal technology by tackling the key obstacles that have characterized large solar installations in the past: price, scalability, speed of deployment and grid impact.”