In September 2011, the Department of Energy issued a $737 million loan guarantee to finance Crescent Dunes, a 110-MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant near Tonopah, Nevada. It uses power tower technology that concentrates solar energy to heat molten salt, converting that heat into electricity. Upon completion, Crescent Dunes became the largest molten salt power tower in the world.
Crescent Dunes is the first deployment of solar power tower technology in the United States that uses molten salt as a primary heat transfer fluid. The heat absorbed by the salt can be stored and produce electricity when required. This enables the plant to generate clean, renewable power during times when direct sunlight is not available. The innovative molten salt storage allows the project to generate power at full load on call (dispatched) for up to 10 hours without any sunlight.
Crescent Dunes created more than 600 construction jobs and is expected to support 45 permanent jobs. Under the project’s unique development agreement with Nye County, the project targets filling 90% of the construction jobs with Nevada residents, utilizing both union and non-union subcontractors. During operations, the project will disburse more than $10 million per year in salaries and operating costs.
Crescent Dunes is expected to generate 482,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy per year while preventing 279,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
|PROJECT SUMMARY||Owners||SolarReserve, LLC, ACS Cobra & Banco Santander|
|Location||Nye County, Nevada|
|FINANCIAL SUMMARY||Loan Program|
|Loan Amount 1||$737 Million|
|Issuance Date||September 2011|
|ENERGY SUMMARY||Operation Status||Operating|
|Generation Capacity||110 MW|
|Projected Annual Generation 2||482,000 MWh|
|ECONOMIC IMPACT||Permanent U.S. Jobs Supported||45|
|U.S. Construction Jobs Supported 3||600|
|CLIMATE BENEFIT||CO2 Emissions Prevented Annually|
279,000 Metric Tons
All information up-to-date. Last updated June 2017.
1 Amount of the loan facility approved at closing including principal and any capitalized interest.
2 Calculated using the project's and NREL's Technology specific capacity factors. For cases in which NREL's capacity factors do not encompass project's specific design and operation, project specific capacity factors are used.
3 Estimated at the time of closing.