BrightSource, Shanghai Electric partner on China concentrating solar power projects

BrightSource Energy, a U.S. concentrating solar power technology company, and Shanghai Electric Group Co. (SEC) announced the companies have signed an agreement forming a joint venture for building utility-scale concentrating solar power plants in China.

Under the agreement, the joint venture will leverage both partners' contributions to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for projects featuring BrightSource's solar power tower technology in China.

The joint venture's first proposal is for the construction of two 135 MW concentrating solar power plants as part of the first phase of the Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project, of which the majority owner is Huanghe Hydropower Development Co., a unit of the China Power Investment Corp. The announcement was made yesterday in a signing ceremony witnessed by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Beijing, China.

The proposed Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project is to be located in China's Qinghai province and is planned for six 135 MW concentrating solar power tower plants. The first phase will include two 135 MW solar thermal plants with thermal energy storage. Construction of the first two plants is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2017.

A feasibility study for the first phase of the Delingha project has been completed and is going to be reviewed by the panel appointed by Huanghe and the Qinghai Province Development and Reform Commission. Pending the Qinghai DRC's approval based on recommendations from the panel, the National Development and Reform Commission will also approve and recommend a tariff for the project's first phase.

BrightSource and SEC have submitted a proposal to Huanghe Hydropower Development Co. for the construction of the first phase. As part of the proposal, BrightSource and SEC provided a term sheet with Huanghe regarding the proposed EPC services, which is subject to Chinese regulations and approval by Huanghe and its higher authority China Power Investment Corp.

Executives from BrightSource, SEC and Huanghe signed the joint venture agreement and EPC term sheet which was witnessed by senior representatives from the U.S. government, including the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews. APEC was selected as the venue because it focuses on addressing both the region's economic and environmental challenges by speeding the transition toward a global low-carbon economy in a way that enhances energy security and creates new sources of economic growth and employment.

The agreements build on BrightSource's memorandums of understanding with CPI and CPI's unit, Huanghe, for BrightSource to be the technology supplier for the first commercial scale CSP project in China as part of the U.S.-China Framework for the Ten-Year Cooperation on Energy and Environment. BrightSource was selected based on its experience with the development of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California.

In addition to working with Huanghe of CPI and SEC, BrightSource is cooperating with the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute on issues regarding efficient use and development of solar power in China. BrightSource is leveraging its experience with Ivanpah to jointly promote technology advancement and project development for China's burgeoning CSP industry.

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