BrightSource Energy Inc. and Shanghai Electric Group Co. Ltd. (SEC) have formed a joint venture for building utility-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in China.
Under the agreement, the joint venture will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for projects featuring BrightSource's solar power tower technology.
The joint venture's first proposal is for the construction of two 135 MW CSP plants with thermal energy storage as part of the first phase of the Qinghai Delingha solar thermal power generation project, which is majority-owned by a subsidiary of the China Power Investment Corp. (CPI). A total of six similar CSP plants are planned.
The new agreement was sealed in a signing ceremony during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Beijing. Last year, Brightsource signed memoranda of understanding with the CPI and the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute to develop CSP plants and policies in China.
BrightSource says a feasibility study for the first phase of the Qinghai Delingha project has been completed and is under review by a committee of industry and government experts. If approved, construction of the first two CSP plants is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2017.
‘Concentrated solar thermal power with integrated thermal energy storage is a cost-effective way to bring reliable, dispatchable renewable energy to the grid today,’ says David Ramm, CEO of BrightSource Energy. ‘By partnering with Shanghai Electric, we will deploy our best-in-class solar thermal technology to help China meet its growing energy needs and emissions-reduction goals.’