The companies expect the project, which will be spread across several sites, to be the largest concentrating-photovoltaic deployment in the world when SolFocus completes it by the end of 2010.
The news comes after SolFocus in September said it had completed its first commercial project, a 500-kilowatt system on two sites for the Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems in Spain (see SolFocus Completes Spanish Project, Eyes California). The company told Greentech Media that one of the sites, in Puertollano, was connected to the grid last week, and the second site, in Almoguera, is expected to go live in the next two weeks.
Partners at EMPE Solar said they are confident SolFocus will enable them to meet their cost targets because the concentrating-solar company already has proven its technology's value in the region, according to Monday's announcement. EMPE, an investor in new solar-technology projects, will own and operate the project.
The companies declined to disclose how the project would be financed.
In a weakened economy, some industry insiders have said financing for green-energy projects is drying up (see Energy Financing Gone With the Wind). Last week, FPL Group said it is scaling back its planned expansion of wind-power capacity, and T. Boone Pickens' hedge fund BP Capital told "60 Minutes" it also is considering downsizing a planned wind project in Texas (see FPL Cuts Wind Power Plans and Knocking the Wind Out of Pickens).
Earlier this week, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi flipped the switch on the company's first U.S. commercial installation, a 7.2-kilowatt project for California radio station KGO.
SolFocus also has installed six test systems, and in September told Greentech Media it hoped to soon announce a commercial project involving a hot desert site in California.
The deal is still pending, according to a SolFocus spokesperson, who added that no details are yet available.
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