Financing Solar Thermal Power Plants

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The commercialization of concentrating solar power technology took a major step forward in the mid 1980s and early 1990s with the development of the SEGS plants in California. Over the years they have proven that parabolic trough power technologies are the most cost-effective approach for commercial scale solar power generation in the sunbelt countries of the world. However, the question must be asked why no additional solar power plants have been build following the bankruptcy of the developer of the SEGS projects, LUZ International Limited. Although many believe the SEGS projects were a success as a result of parabolic trough ... continued below

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Price, H. W. & Kistner, R. November 1, 1999.

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Description

The commercialization of concentrating solar power technology took a major step forward in the mid 1980s and early 1990s with the development of the SEGS plants in California. Over the years they have proven that parabolic trough power technologies are the most cost-effective approach for commercial scale solar power generation in the sunbelt countries of the world. However, the question must be asked why no additional solar power plants have been build following the bankruptcy of the developer of the SEGS projects, LUZ International Limited. Although many believe the SEGS projects were a success as a result of parabolic trough technology they employ, in truth, the SEGS projects were developed simply because they represented an attractive opportunity for investors. Simply stated, no additional projects have been developed because no one has been able to put together a similarly attractive financial package to potential investors. More than $1.2 billion in private capital was raised i n debt and equity financing for the nine SEGS plants. Investors and bankers who make these investments are the real clients for solar power technologies. They are not interested in annual solar to electric efficiencies, but in risk, return on investments, and coverage ratios. This paper will take a look at solar power projects from the financier's perspective. The challenge in moving forward is to attract private investors, commercial lenders, and international development agencies and to find innovative solutions to the difficult issues that investment in the global power market poses for solar power technologies.

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OSTI as DE00003532

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  • Prepared for the Proceedings of the ASME Renewable and Advanced Energy Systems for the 21st Century Conference, Maui, HI (US), 04/11/1999--04/14/1999

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  • Other: DE00003532
  • Report No.: NREL/CP-550-25901
  • Grant Number: AC36-83CH10093
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 3532
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc688674

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • November 1, 1999

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • March 31, 2016, 9:28 p.m.

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Price, H. W. & Kistner, R. Financing Solar Thermal Power Plants, article, November 1, 1999; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc688674/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.