Stirling Energy Systems Suncatcher planned for Tessera Solar 850MW Mohave Desert Solar Plant
Tessera Solar owns, operates, and constructs power plants exclusively using the Stirling Energy Systems (SES) Suncatcher. Tessera Solar currently has a 1.5 MW Solar plant under construction in Maricopa, outside of Phoenix, AZ. It is the first commercial-scale plant to be built with the Stirling Energy Systems SunCatcher concentrating solar power (CSP) technology. The project broke ground in September and will be delivering power in January.
Tessera Solar will also be starting construction in the middle of next year on some of the world's largest solar plants: a 750MW plant in Imperial Valley, CA, a 850MW plant in the Mohave Desert, and a 50MW plant in Texas. Below is an interview with Bob Lukefahr, CEO of Tessera Solar, about these exciting installations and why the Stirling Energy Systems Suncatcher is the ideal solution for these utility companies.
Some of the benefits of the Stirling Energy Systems Suncatcher for utility scale projects:
- The Suncatcher creates AC power which is what the grid systems runs on. There is no need for an inverter to convert from DC to AC as is needed when using solar PV panels.
- Thermal inertia is incorporated into the functionality of the system, which means that the system does not switch off immediately when there is cloud cover on an intermittent basis.
- The Suncatcher systems do not require water for their operation, which is ideal for the arid environments in which they are commonly installed.
- The mirrors used for the system do not degrade, unlike solar PV panels.
- The life expectancy of the product is at least 20 years, and it is expected to last longer.
- Suncatcher components can be swapped out and replaced lowering ongoing costs.
A bit about the manufacturing:
- Tessera Solar utilizes an automotive supply chain in Detroit to produce the Stirling Energy Systems Suncatcher. The rational: who has more experience in engine productions than car manufacturing plants? Two years ago, their Detroit manufacturing facility pumped out 17 million cars, and as a result Tessera Solar feels that this manufacturing angle will ensure scalability in the Stirling Energy Systems Suncatcher production.