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Solana Generating Station

Solana Generating Station Project
Location of Solana Generating Station Project in Arizona
Country United States
Location Maricopa County

32°55′N 112°58′W / 32.917°N 112.967°W / 32.917; -112.967Coordinates: 32°55′N 112°58′W / 32.917°N 112.967°W / 32.917; -112.967{{#coordinates:32|55|N|112|58|W|region:US-AZ_type:landmark_dim:100km|| |primary |name=

Status Operational
Construction began December 2010
Owner(s) Abengoa Solar
Solar farm
Type CSP
CSP technology Parabolic trough
Site area Script error: No such module "convert".
Power generation
Units operational 3,232
Nameplate capacity 280
Storage capacity 6 hours
Annual generation 944,000 MW·h (projected)[1]

The Solana Generating Station is a solar power plant near Gila Bend, Arizona, about Script error: No such module "convert". southwest of Phoenix, completed in 2013. When commissioned it was the largest parabolic trough plant in the world and the first U.S. solar plant with molten salt thermal energy storage.[2] Built by the Spanish company Abengoa Solar, it has a total capacity of 280 megawatts (MW), which is enough to power 70,000 homes while avoiding around 475,000 tons of CO2 every year.[3] Its name is the Spanish term for "sunny spot".[4]


The plant employs a proprietary concentrating solar power (CSP) trough technology developed by Abengoa, and covers an area of Script error: No such module "convert".. Construction was expected to create about 1,500 construction jobs with the plant employing 85 full-time workers.[5][6] Solar thermal plants use substantially more water for cooling than other solar generating technologies. Nevertheless, the Sierra Club supports the Solana plant, because it will be built on private land, and use "75 to 85 percent less water than the current agricultural use."[7]


Arizona Public Service (APS) has contracted to purchase 100% of the power output generated from Solana, to meet the Arizona Corporation Commission's (ACC) mandate that the state's regulated utilities provide 15% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. APS will pay about 14 cents per kWh.[8] The Solana plant was originally planned to open in 2011 and was estimated to cost $2 billion.[9] In December 2010, Abengoa received a $1.45 billion loan guarantee to support construction of the plant.[10]

Energy storage

One of the principal advantages of concentrated solar thermal (CST) is that thermal energy storage can be provided efficiently,[11] so that output can be provided after the sun goes down, and output can be scheduled to meet demand requirements.[12] The Solana Generating Station is designed to provide six hours of energy storage. This allows the plant to generate about 38 percent of its rated capacity over the course of a year.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Solana Generating Station". Concentrating Solar Power Projects. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). February 23, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  2. ^ Mearian, Lucas. U.S. flips switch on massive solar power array that also stores electricity: The array is first large U.S. solar plant with a thermal energy storage system, October 10, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  3. ^ "Solana, the largest parabolic trough plant in the world". Abengoa. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  4. ^ "Solana" in
  5. ^ Abengoa to Build 280MW Concentrating Solar Power Plant in Arizona, website, February 21, 2008.
  6. ^ Lavelle, Marianne. Big Solar Project Planned for Arizona Desert: $1 billion installation would use parabolic mirrors to generate power southwest of Phoenix, U.S. News & World Report, February 21, 2008.
  7. ^ Gelt, Joe (Sept.–Oct. 2008, Volume 17, Number 1). "Clean, Green Solar Power Falls Short in Achieving Water Efficiency". Arizona Water Resource. University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Retrieved 2008-12-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Randazzo, Ryan (February 21, 2008). "Plant to brighten state's solar future". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  9. ^ Randazzo, Ryan (July 3, 2010). "Arizona solar plant gets big boost from feds". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  10. ^ "Abengoa closes $1.45 billion federal loan guarantee for Arizona solar farm". Reuters. Dec 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ Wright, matthew; Hearps, Patrick; et al. Australian Sustainable Energy: Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan, Energy Research Institute, University of Melbourne, October 2010, p. 33. Retrieved from website.
  12. ^ Innovation in Concentrating Thermal Solar Power (CSP), website.
  13. ^

Further reading

External links