Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is partnering with AREVA Solar on an innovative concentrated solar power (CSP) addition to TEP's H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station in Tucson. TEP's Sundt Solar Boost Project will use AREVA Solar's Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar steam generators to produce up to 5 megawatts (MW) of power during peak demand periods without added emissions. Over the course of a year, the system will allow Sundt Unit 4 to produce enough additional power to serve more than 600 Tucson homes. Producing that same amount of power at the dual-fueled unit would otherwise require burning 46 million cubic feet of natural gas, or 3,600 tons of coal. So by offsetting the use of those fuels, the Sundt Solar Boost project avoids the annual production of either 4,600 or 8,500 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), depending on whether the unit is running on natural gas or coal. The Sundt Solar Boost Project is part of TEP's plan to expand its solar generating capacity to more than 200 MW by the end of 2014. Its output will help TEP meet or exceed Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard, which requires electric utilities to increase their use of renewable energy each year until it accounts for 15 percent of their power in 2025. In addition to helping TEP meet its renewable energy goals cost-effectively, the Sundt Solar Boost Project will allow the company to evaluate the potential integration of CSP additions at other power plants. The project will also further demonstrate AREVA's high-pressure, superheated steam offering.
"AREVA Solar's innovative solar boost technology gives us a cost-effective, environmentally responsible way to expand the output of our largest local power plant without increasing emissions," said Paul Bonavia, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TEP and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation.
Construction of the Sundt Solar Boost is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012, and the project is expected to be operational by early 2013. The facility will be built on TEP property adjacent to the Sundt plant, which is located east of South Alvernon Way between East Irvington Road and Interstate 10. The project is expected to create 50 jobs during peak construction.
"TEP is a national leader in solar energy, and we are pleased that they've selected our U.S.-designed and manufactured CLFR technology for this addition to their clean energy portfolio," said Bill Gallo, CEO of AREVA Solar. "Solar booster projects like this are gaining momentum in the United States and around the world as a way to leverage existing power infrastructure to provide needed energy with no new emissions. AREVA Solar's booster installation aims to do just that."
In addition to augmenting coal-fired power plants, AREVA's solar steam generators can also easily integrate with natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plants and can be used in standalone solar thermal and hybrid facilities, as well as industrial process steam applications. AREVA recently broke ground on a 44 MW solar booster project for a coal-fired power station in Australia and currently has more than 540 MW of CSP projects in operation, under construction or in advanced development.