Bell Independent Power Corp., a Rochester, N.Y.-based developer of thermal storage technology for concentrating solar power (CSP), has selected the UA Tech Park in Tucson, Ariz., as the site of a new 5 MW solar plant with a thermal storage system.
The role of this facility, which will use parabolic-trough mirrors, is to commercially demonstrate Bell Independent Power Corp.'s proprietary thermal storage system and show its ability to improve the efficiency of a facility by 50%, which drives down the cost of producing solar power, the company says. Its system will be capable of storing heat for several hours, allowing the CSP plant to generate power at cloudy times or after the sun sets.
Thermal storage will also provide energy for full-plant start-up every morning, replacing the need for natural gas.
The plant is expected to begin providing power to Tucson Electric Power customers in May 2011. Construction will employ 75 workers, and seven full-time positions will be established for the operation of the facility.
SOURCE: Bell Independent Power Corp.