Buying the solar dream

NTR, the Irish renewable energy company, has bought a controlling interest in Phoenix, Arizona based Stirling Energy Systems for $100m.


NTR, the Irish renewable energy company, has bought a controlling interest in Phoenix, Arizona-based Stirling Energy Systems (SES), for $100m.


SES is the developer of a concentrating solar energy system called the SunCatcher. The SunCatcher combines a mirrored concentrator dish with a high-efficiency Stirling engine specially designed to convert reflected sunlight to electricity. The technology has been in testing for several years at the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


SES is developing two of the world’s largest solar generating projects in the Imperial Valley and Mojave Desert to bring power to Southern California. The investment by NTR will provide it with the financial and commercial expertise to deliver the projects. Combined, the two projects will initially produce 800MW of power and up to 1,750MW when the plants are eventually constructed.


SES already has long term, Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) with two of California’s leading utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE).


In addition, it has secured grid connection rights for the power production at the two facilities.


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