B&W in Line for DOE Funding for Concentrating Solar Power Project
BARBERTON, Ohio, July 1, 2010
eSolar, Inc. and its project team member, Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc. (B&W PGG), have been selected to receive up to $10.8 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to design, build and test a modular, baseload molten salt power plant using concentrated solar power (CSP). B&W PGG is a subsidiary of The Babcock & Wilcox Company.
B&W PGG's scope includes a single, full-scale modular molten salt receiver specially designed to fit with eSolar's technology; molten salt to steam heat exchangers; and a hot/cold molten salt storage system. The program's goal is to achieve the lowest levelized electricity cost of any utility-scale CSP plant.
The plant uses a field of mirrors to focus solar energy on a tower-mounted receiver. Molten salt is used to transfer the heat energy concentrated on the receiver to a steam generator, which produces steam used to generate electricity. Molten salt can also be stored for later use during periods when the sun's energy is not available, allowing the plant to generate power up to 18 hours a day.
"We're excited about the U.S. government's support for eSolar and B&W PGG's development of this important and innovative technology," said B&W PGG President and Chief Operating Officer Richard L. Killion. "Concentrating solar power and molten salt technology have the potential to play a major role in meeting the nation's energy needs in a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way."
"eSolar is honored to be placed in the company of industry leaders that are working to advance CSP's market-readiness," said eSolar CEO John Van Scoter. "Together with B&W PGG, we will accelerate the research and development of economic storage solutions for CSP critical to the industry's next stage of growth."
B&W PGG's approach to the plant's design will reduce the cost of deploying a full-scale molten salt power plant by allowing plant components to be built in a factory and shipped fully assembled to the plant site and by simplifying the plant permitting process.
The project is expected to take approximately 2 1/2 years to design, build and test.
The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W), a subsidiary of McDermott International, Inc., is a leader in advanced energy technology innovation and service, primarily in nuclear and fossil power. Providing quality products and technical services to commercial and government customers, B&W is focused on issues such as energy efficiency, clean air, global market competitiveness, and safe and secure resolution for nuclear waste. B&W has locations worldwide and employs approximately 13,000 people, not including approximately 10,000 joint venture employees. The company is located on the Internet at www.babcock.com.
eSolar is an Idealab company founded in 2007 to develop modular and scalable solar thermal power plant technology. In the summer of 2009, eSolar unveiled the 5 MW Sierra SunTower plant, the only commercial CSP tower facility operating in North America. The eSolar solution marries a low-impact, pre-fabricated form factor with advanced computer software engineering to meet the demand for reliable and cost-competitive solar energy. eSolar's proprietary solution resolves issues of price, scalability, speed of deployment, and grid impact that have historically stymied solar thermal adoption, thus affording dramatic reductions in the cost of solar thermal energy. eSolar is based in Pasadena, California. For more information, please visit www.esolar.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements relating to scope and timing of the project, as well as beliefs regarding the potential for CSP. These forward-looking statements are based on current management expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, adverse changes in funding levels and the inability to successfully execute on project plans. If one or more of these or other risks materialize, actual results may vary materially from those expected. B&W cautions not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. B&W undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except to the extent required by applicable law.
The Babcock & Wilcox Company