Construction has begun on a 64 MW solar thermal generation station in Nevada. The so-called Nevada Solar One €220 million station is being developed by Spanish renewables group Acciona and is due to begin commercial operations by 2007.

The project is the first solar thermal electric technology venture for the company.

Acciona Energía will directly take on 95% of the investment and has also acquired 55% of the capital of Solargenix Energy, a leading US solar company that will take on the remaining 5% through Solargenix.

The plant, which covers 1.4 million m2, is located in the Nevada desert on a site in Eldorado Valley, near Boulder City. The 760 parabolic cylinder concentrators concentrate the sun’s rays onto pipes, warming a fluid up to 400º C flows. This fluid is used to produce steam and drives a conventional turbine-gen set.

The grid connected plant energy is expected to generate 129GWh/year

that will be purchased by utilities Nevada Power and Serra Pacific under a 20-year agreement. Nevada plans major development of solar energy within the objective of 20% of its electricity consumption coming from renewable energies by 2013.