NTR plc To Invest $100 Million In Solar Energy
April 17 2008
Utility-Scale Solar Generation to Become Reality
NTR plc (NTR), a leading international developer and operator in renewable energy and sustainable waste management, today announced an agreement to invest $100 million (€63 million) for a controlling interest in Stirling Energy Systems, Inc. (SES), a Phoenix, Arizona based developer of utility-scale solar powered electricity generation plants.
SES is developing two of the world’s largest solar generating projects in the Imperial Valley and Mojave Desert to bring clean, renewable power to Southern California. The investment by NTR will provide SES with the financial and commercial expertise to deliver these projects. Combined, the two projects will initially produce 800 megawatts (MW) of power and up to 1,750 MW with contract extensions when the plants are fully constructed.
“This is a very exciting investment for NTR,” said Jim Barry, Group Chief Executive of NTR plc. “In SES, we have a business with high growth potential and a leading cost position in the fast growing CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) sector. SES’s established presence in California places it at the forefront of solar technology development.”
“The investment supports NTR’s strategy and our commitment to continued investment in renewable energy businesses with strong future growth potential,” he said. “Following the success achieved with Airtricity, we have been actively pursuing such investment opportunities. SES is a particularly attractive business opportunity with very significant future development potential.”
SES has long term, Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) with two of California’s leading utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE). In addition, SES has also secured grid connection rights for the power production at the two facilities.
SES is the innovator of the highly efficient concentrating solar energy technology called the SunCatcher. The SunCatcher combines a mirrored concentrator dish with a high-efficiency Stirling engine specially designed to convert reflected sunlight to electricity. The technology has been in testing for several years at the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New
“SES is now poised to move to the next stage in its commercialisation plan,” said SES President and Chief Executive, Bruce Osborn. “The investment by NTR will give SES access to the development, commercial and financial expertise required to commercialize the SunCatcher. NTR’s experience and proven commercial track record in the renewables sector make it an ideal partner for SES.”
Note to Editors
About NTR plc
NTR plc is a leading international developer and operator in renewable energy and sustainable waste management. The company has a market capitalisation in excess of €1.3 billion. NTR has operations in Ireland, the UK and the US.
About Stirling Energy Systems (SES)
SES was formed in 1996 to develop and commercialize advanced solar technology. The company maintains corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, project and technical development offices in Tustin, California, and engineering and test site operations at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The SES SunCatcher is a concentrating solar power (CSP) technology that uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity. CSP technologies include dish systems, parabolic troughs, power towers and concentrating photovoltaic.
The dish concentrator tracks, collects and focuses the sun’s energy and the Stirling engine converts the thermal energy to grid quality electricity. The SunCatcher technology has significant advantages including power conversion efficiency, cost competitiveness and low water usage. The SunCatcher is a zero emission renewable energy technology.