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BrightSource and Shanghai Electric Partner to Deliver Huanghe’s CSP Projects

published: 2014-11-11 13:28

BrightSource Energy, Inc., a US concentrating solar power technology (CSP) company, and Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd (SEC) announced an agreement forming a joint venture for building utility-scale CSP plants in China. Under the agreement, the joint venture will leverage both partners’ contributions to provide EPC services for projects featuring BrightSource’s solar power tower technology in China to construct two 135MW CSP plants.

BrightSource's Solar Energy Development Center. (Photo Credit: BrightSource)

Being the joint venture’s first proposal, the two CSP plants are marked as part of the first phase of the Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project, of which the majority owner is Huanghe Hydropower Development Co., Ltd (Huanghe), a subsidiary of the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI). The announcement was made in a signing ceremony witnessed by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews during the APEC in Beijing, China.

“Concentrated solar thermal power with integrated thermal energy storage is a cost effective way to bring reliable, dispatchable renewable energy to the grid today,” said David Ramm, CEO of BrightSource Energy. “By partnering with Shanghai Electric we will deploy our best-in-class solar thermal technology to help China meet its growing energy needs and emissions-reduction goals.”

The proposed Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project is to be located in China’s Qinghai province and is planned for six 135 MW CSP tower plants. The first phase will include two 135 MW solar thermal plants with thermal energy storage. Construction of the first two plants is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2017.

“SEC and BrightSource will fully cooperate by establishing the Joint Venture and forming a consortium to undertake an EPC general wrap to ensure success of the project,” said Mr. Bi Chengye, General Manager of SEC’s CSP Division. “This will also benefit development of the future CSP market in China. As China’s economy develops and its environment improves, developing renewable energy will be the number one choice.”

BrightSource, a company that has successfully built the Ivanpah project in California, is believed to conquer two main challenges in CSP’s commercial application: reliability of technology, and current relatively high construction cost. Mr. Bi Chengye added, “We strongly believe that establishment and efficient operation of the SEC and BrightSource Joint Venture will provide quality service for the owner Huanghe, and ensure success of the project.”

The Ivanpah CSP project in California. (Photo Credit: BrightSource)

A feasibility study for the first phase of the Delingha project has been completed and is going to be reviewed by the Expert Panel appointed by Huanghe and the Qinghai Province Development and Reform Commission (DRC). Pending the Qinghai DRC’s approval based on recommendations from the Expert Panel, the National Development and Reform Commission will also approve and recommend a tariff for the project’s first phase.

BrightSource and SEC have submitted a proposal to Huanghe Hydropower Development Co., Ltd (Huanghe) for the construction of the first phase. As part of the proposal, BrightSource and SEC provided a term sheet with Huanghe regarding the proposed EPC services, which is subject to Chinese regulations and approval by Huanghe and its higher authority China Power Investment Corporation.

Executives from BrightSource, SEC and Huanghe signed the joint venture agreement and EPC term sheet which was witnessed by senior representatives from the U.S. government, including the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews. APEC was selected as the venue because it focuses on addressing both the region’s economic and environmental challenges by speeding the transition toward a global low-carbon economy in a way that enhances energy security and creates new sources of economic growth and employment.

Yesterday’s agreements build on BrightSource’s Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with CPI and CPI’s subsidiary, Huanghe, for BrightSource to be the technology supplier for the first commercial scale CSP project in China as part of the U.S.-China Framework for the Ten-Year Cooperation on Energy and Environment. BrightSource was selected based on its experience with the development of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California.

In addition to working with Huanghe of CPI and SEC, BrightSource is cooperating with the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute on issues regarding efficient utilization and development of solar power in China. BrightSource is leveraging its experience with Ivanpah to jointly promote technology advancement and project development for China’s burgeoning CSP industry.

“This joint venture is an important milestone for BrightSource as we progress to become a global technology provider that also offers development support and engineering and operational services,” added Ramm. BrightSource is the world’s premiere concentrating solar power technology provider. BrightSource’s solar field and solar receiver technology is featured at the world’s largest operating solar thermal power plant, the 392 MW Ivanpah Electric Generating Station. Built in partnership with NRG Energy and Google, Ivanpah began commercial operation in 2013 and provides clean, reliable energy to over 140,000 California homes. Additionally, a 29 MW thermal facility using BrightSource technology is in its third year of operation for Chevron Corp.’s enhanced oil recovery efforts in Coalinga, Calif.

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