Oliveira de Frades, xx June 2008
MARTIFER ANNOUNCES THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 106,8 MWe HYBRID SOLAR-THERMAL ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION PLANT IN CALIFORNIA
Martifer SGPS SA (“Martifer”) announces that its subsidiary Martifer Renewables will develop, construct and operate a hybrid solar-thermal electric power plant made up of two identical units with 53,4MWe in San Joaquin county, in California, United States of America.
The units will be identified as San Joaquin Solar 1 and San Joaquin Solar 2 and will be owned in 80% by Martifer and 20% by local partners Clean Energy Ventures.
The solar-thermal electric power units will deliver energy to PG&E under separate 20 year Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The average annual production expected is about 750 GWh.
The PPAs encompass a firm commitment by PG&E to purchase all scheduled energy produced by the facilities at an energy pricing structure based on summer and winter seasonal periods, and on-peak, semi-peak and off-peak daily production periods.
The power plant is expected to enter full commercial operation in 2011.
The project management will be the responsibility of Spinnaker Energy Inc. and Bethel Solar Partners. Bethel Solar Partners principals have a vast experience in the solar-thermal field and have undertaken development of the first solar-thermal in the United States using this kind of technology (SEGS).
The project will benefit from the experience of Martifer’s subsidiary Martifer Energy Systems in engineering, building and supplying components for electricity generation energy projects, namely solar projects.
The power plant will use solar thermal trough technology, the most proven and cost-competitive solar thermal technology currently available to supply on-peak California demand with solar energy and biomass from agricultural waste available in the region in off-peak times. This combination allows the project to be fully eligible for renewable energy incentives.
Martifer intends to finance the project with a combination of equity, debt, and tax-equity and benefit from the 30% tax credit available for investments in solar energy assets.
Total investment is approximately 450 million US$.
The project will supply enough energy for approximately 120,000 homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 400,000 tons per year.
This asset will strengthen Martifer’s portfolio of renewable energy generation assets currently under development. The Group currently owns 53MW in operation and over 2,7GW in construction or in different stages of development.
The hybrid characteristic derives from the use of the combination of solar radiation collectors and bio-mass fuelled thermal heating facilities to generate electricity with a single turbine-generator unit. The solar collector is a parabolic trough of mirrored glass reflectors which focuses direct solar radiation on an efficient evacuated receiver, or heat collector element, a well proved and commercially available technology. Each project will use 137,088 mirrors, and an independent positioning system and local control system, which tracks the sun from East to West. Complementing the excellent solar conditions available to the projects is an abundant source of biofuel in the Southern San Joaquin Valley of California. The technology provides a unique opportunity for hybrid generation because the thermal based steam generating system can be fuelled by solar energy or by heating the heat transfer fluid with a biofuel-fired heater. The power blocks for the projects utilize a conventional single reheat, multiple extraction condensing steam turbine.