Solar storage technology to be supplied by Pratt & Whitney unit

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), received a contract from California-based SolarReserve to supply critical hardware for the 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada that will use molten salt thermal energy storage technology.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne developed the critical components associated with the molten salt thermal energy system as part of the molten salt power tower technology, which uses thousands of articulating mirrors, or heliostats, to track the sun and reflect solar energy onto a receiver mounted atop a 653-foot tower.  Molten salt is circulated through the receiver, where it is heated to more than 1,000 degrees F, then stored in a large insulated tank.  The energy from this stored molten salt is available on-demand to drive a steam turbine to create electricity.

The power will be sold to NV Energy (NYSE: NVE) under a long-term power purchase agreement that has been approved by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission.

SolarReserve closed financing for Crescent Dunes, including a $737 million Department of Energy loan guarantee awarded on Sept. 28.

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