HONG KONG, January 11 U.S. solar thermal power
company eSolar, whose investors include Google Inc (GOOG.O), said
it has reached a deal with a Chinese power equipment maker to
build a 2,000 megawatt (MW) solar thermal power project in China
over the next 10 years.
The deal comes as the Chinese government aims to boost
renewable energy generating capacity in the country, with plans
to generate at least 10,000 MW of solar energy and 20,000 MW of
wind power by 2020.
In a statement, eSolar said equipment maker China Shandong
Penglai Electric Power Equipment Manufacturing Co was developing
solar thermal plants using eSolar's technology.
It did not disclose financial details of the deal, but
analysts said the 2,000 MW project was the largest of its kind in
China and could easily be worth more than $5 billion.
Solar thermal power uses the sun to heat water, producing
steam to power a turbine and create electricity. The technology
is seen by some as a viable replacement for fossil-fuel
generators because such plants can rival the capacities of many
conventional power plants.
eSolar said China Shandong Penglai was building the project
along with a biomass electricity generation facility within an
industrial park in Yulin, Shaanxi province.
China Shandong Penglai would operate the first 92 MW this
year, the statement said.
The Pasadena, California-based company has deals with U.S.
utilities, including NRG Energy Inc (NRG.N) to create more than
400 megawatts at solar thermal power plants in the U.S.
Southwest. It recently opened its first commercial power plant in
Lancaster, California. [ID:nNO955832]
eSolar's investors include technology incubator Idealab and
Oak Investment Partners.
(Editing by Chris Lewis)