The Department of Energy was granted approval which will cost of $1.45 Billion dollars to proceed with offering a conditional commitment to Abenoga Solar, Inc. to build the Solana, Arizona Solar Power plant. The plant will generate renewable energy at a rate of 250 megawatts and will feature the first molten salt thermal energy storage system in the USA. The Solana Plant will supply clean renewable energy to 70,000 homes, employ approximately 1600 during construction and 80 skilled permanent jobs during construction.
The plant will use mirrors to direct sunlight to the receiver tubes that will heat the molten to 700 degrees. The systems heat will turn steam turbines and has the capability of storing 6 hours of thermal energy, and will be dispatched during the peek hours in the morning and evening.
The thermal storage will also enable the plant to continue operation during intermittent cloudy weather.