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SolarReserve is a developer of utility-scale solar power projects which include Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaic (PV) technology. The company has commercialized solar thermal energy storage technology that enables solar power tower CSP plants to deliver electricity day and night. In this technology, a molten salt is used to capture the energy from the sun and store it. When electricity is needed, the stored liquid salt is used to turn water into steam to turn a turbine and generate electricity.[1][2]

SolarReserve, LLC
IndustrySolar thermal power
Founded2008; 11 years ago (2008)
Key people
Kevin Smith (CEO)

As of May 2015, SolarReserve has developed and secured long-term power contracts for 482 megawatts (MW) of solar projects representing $2.8 billion of project capital, with a development pipeline of more than 6.6 gigawatts (GW) globally.[3] SolarReserve reached its lowest price yet at ¢6.3/kWh for the 2019 Copiapó Solar Project.[4]

In addition to its headquarters in Santa Monica, California, SolarReserve has offices in Spain, Chile, South Africa, Turkey, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates.



SolarReserve was formed in early 2008 with seed capital[5] from US Renewables Group, in partnership with United Technologies Corporation (UTC), to commercialize advanced molten salt technology for utility-scale concentrated solar thermal power.[6] This technology was first developed and tested by Rocketdyne for two decades and had more than 100 US and international patents.[7][8][9] In September 2008 the company raised an additional $140 million in a Series B funding.[10]

In 2014, SolarReserve acquired ownership from Rocketdyne of its intellectual property rights and patents specifically for molten salt technology for concentrated solar-thermal power and electricity storage, heliostat designs and collector field control systems.[11]


Crescent Dunes Solar Energy ProjectEdit

The 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is the world’s first utility-scale facility to use molten salt power tower energy storage.[1] It has 10,347 tracking mirrors [12] (heliostats) that follow the sun and reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a heat exchanger, a receiver, atop a 640-foot (200 m) tower. Crescent Dunes has 10 hours of storage and will deliver 500,000 MW hours of electricity per year, day and night, to 75,000 homes.[13] In September, 2011, SolarReserve received a $737 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the project and broke ground.[14] The project has a 25-year agreement with NV Energy for 100 percent of the electricity. Construction is complete and the project went online in the fall of 2015.[15] Under the rollout plan with NV Energy, the facility will ramp-up over the coming year.[16]

Redstone Solar Thermal Power ProjectEdit

The Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project is 100 MW solar project located at Postmasburg, near Kimberly, South Africa. The project will have 12 hours of storage to deliver to more than 200,000 South African homes. The project is planned to be online in 2018.[17]

Aurora Solar Thermal Power ProjectEdit

The Aurora Solar Thermal Power Project is a 150MW solar thermal plant proposed to be built about 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of Port Augusta in South Australia.[18] The project is expected to cost AUD $650 million and be completed by 2020. The promised power delivery price is noted to be competitive with combined-cycle natural-gas plants.[19]

Copiapó Solar ProjectEdit

The Copiapó Solar Project near Copiapó, Atacama Region, Chile is a 260 MW hybrid solar power project consisting of CSP and PV energy. It will have 14 hours of storage to deliver to more than 560,000 homes in Atacama. The project is the first of its kind in Chile and will be the largest solar power plant in the world.[20] At the 2017 auction, SolarReserve bid $63/MWh (¢6.3/kWh) for 24-hour CSP power with no subsidies, competing with other types such as LNG gas turbines.[4]


  1. Lesedi Solar Energy Project
  2. Letsatsi Solar Energy Project
  3. Jasper Solar Energy Project

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b WIRED, The Window, Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project Part 1: The Facility-The Window-WIRED
  2. ^ Grunwald, Mike. The Green Revolution is Here, TIME, June 5, 2014. (Subscription required)
  3. ^ Dipaola, Anthony. SolarReserve Seeks South African Plants, Expansion Into MidEast, Bloomberg, May 9, 2014
  4. ^ a b Kraemer, Susan (13 March 2017). "SolarReserve Bids 24-Hour Solar At 6.3 Cents In Chile". CleanTechnica. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  5. ^ Lunsford, Lynn. Solar Venture Will Draw on Molten Salt. The Wall Street Journal. January 2, 2008.
  6. ^ Silver, Edward, Solar-to-Salt Energy Start up gets $140 Million in Financing LA Times, September 19, 2008
  7. ^ Karuh, Carri. Concentrated Solar Power Tower Technology Hits Milestone, Breaking Energy, April 3, 2013
  8. ^ Woody, Todd. Secret Ingredient to Making Solar Energy Work: Salt, Forbes, April 4, 2012
  9. ^ Litwin, RZ, High Temperature Molten Salt Receiver, Patent Images, June 20, 2006.
  10. ^ Kho, Jennifer. SolarReserve Raises $140M for Solar-Thermal Projects, website, September 16, 2008.
  11. ^ Yang, Melissah. SolarReserve Buys Aerojet Rocketdyne Division, Los Angeles Business Journal, October 27, 2014
  12. ^ Kraemer, Susan. CSP 2015 plant data to highlight output costs against tech risk, CSP Today, May 22, 2015
  13. ^ Kile, Meredith; Johnson, Chanelle Berlin (2014-01-23). "Need to Know: How SolarReserve generates energy around the clock". Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  14. ^ Energy Department Finalizes $737 Million Loan Guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy for Nevada Project (Press release). Loan Programs Office (LPO), Dept. of Energy (DOE). September 28, 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Where the Sun Doesn't Set on Solar". US News & World Report. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  16. ^ "Crescent Dunes 24-Hour Solar Tower Is Online". CleanTechnica. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  17. ^ Kessler, Richard A, South Africa awards SolarReserve group 100MW CSP project, Recharge News, January 08, 2015.
  18. ^ Geuss, Megan (14 August 2017). "South Australia okays giant solar thermal plant from SolarReserve". Ars Technica. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  19. ^ Lacey, Stephen (14 August 2017). "SolarReserve Inks Deal With South Australia to Supply Solar Thermal Power With Storage for 6 Cents". GreenTech Media. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  20. ^ “Copiapo Solar”: La primera planta hibrida en el pais que operaria las 24 horas. CNN, March 04, 2015

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit