News Analysis

Utility-Scale Solar Thermal Growing Fast

Although the power of concentrated sunlight has been recognized since ancient times, modern-era, utility-scale CSP sprang from the sands of California’s Mojave Desert in the late 1980s when Israel’s Luz Industries (now Luz II) built nine CSP plants that, combined, still generate 354 MW. The CSP industry in the U.S. has been virtually dormant since then, but it is now seeing a resurgence thanks to an increase in demand for clean energy and a decrease in costs.

In 2001, the price of CSP-produced electricity averaged 35 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). According to John O’Donnell, executive vice president of the solar technology developer Ausra, two CSP giants have recently demonstrated dramatically reduced prices: Acciona’s brand-new Nevada Solar One plant (see EBN

Published May 29, 2008

Navaro, R. (2008, May 29). Utility-Scale Solar Thermal Growing Fast. Retrieved from