Erlangen/ Berkeley (California), 17 August 2009 Solar Millennium AG, Erlangen, has restructured in the US to react to the rapidly growing demand for solar thermal power generation. Moving forward, all activities in the US market will be consolidated into one new joint venture, Solar Trust of America, LLC (STA). Solar Millennium owns a total of 70 percent in this JV via affiliated companies. The remaining 30 percent are held by MAN Ferrostaal Inc., Cleveland (Ohio), an affiliate of MAN Ferrostaal AG, Essen. Solar Millennium has contributed its former US project development company, Solar Millennium LLC, of Berkeley, California, into the JV as the U.S. solar development arm of STA.
Solar Millennium LLC already has long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for up to three parabolic trough power plants with a capacity of 242 MW each in California and is currently working with Nevada Energy to develop projects in the Amargosa desert. There are also other projects planned. STA will actively pursue project development in key Southwestern states, utilizing its business units' Project Development, Financing, Engineering, Power Plant Construction and Investment expertise. STA will cover the entire value chain for solar thermal power plants in the U.S. To finance the growth plans of STA, various options for equity capitalization in the US are currently being examined.
Christian Beltle, CEO of Solar Millennium AG: "We already work closely with MAN Ferrostaal in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By consolidating our activities and expanding our collaboration with MAN Ferrostaal we are strengthening our position in the U.S. market. At the same time we are putting the speedy and reliable implementation of our projects on a firm footing. Solar Trust of America will assume a major role in the development and construction of solar thermal power plants in the U.S. and build the first solar power plants of this size and capacity."
According to Uwe T. Schmidt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of STA, "The expansion of the previous activities around power plant construction opens up new sales potential. We offer our customers the entire range of services in the development, financing, technology, construction and operation of solar thermal power plants from a single provider. Adequate capitalization should make it possible to simultaneously develop and realize several large projects with investment volumes of more than one billion US dollars each." To finance solar thermal power plants, the company might also turn to public grants and loan guarantees as well as to the possibilities of tax credits.
Josef Eichhammer, President and Chief Operating Officer of STA : "With our project development team at Solar Millennium LLC and our partners we have considerable experience in developing solar thermal power plants and have already concluded the first agreements for the realization of such plants with a total capacity of up to 726 MW. Our new corporate structure will enhance our expertise and will position us well to achieve our growth targets. Overall, we will build on Solar Millennium‘s successes in Spain and with 250 MW - class plants we will set a further milestone in the development of innovative solar power plants."
About Solar Millennium AG:
Solar Millennium AG, Erlangen, is an international company in the renewable energy sector, with its main emphasis on solar-thermal power plants. Together with its subsidiaries, the Company specializes in parabolic trough power plants, a proven and reliable technology with which the Group has adopted a leading position worldwide. Solar Millennium covers all important business sectors along the value chain for solar-thermal power plants - from project development and technology to turn-key construction as well as plant operation and investments in power plants. In Spain, Solar Millennium developed Europe's first parabolic trough power plants and realized them with its partners. Additional projects are planned around the world with an overall capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts. The current regional focus is on Spain, the US, China and North Africa. Furthermore, the Company has the aim of achieving market readiness for the so-called Blue Tower technology for the generation of product gas that is rich in hydrogen through the reformation of regenerative residual materials, and also for solar chimney power plants in the long run. More information at http://www.solarmillennium.com/.
About MAN Ferrostaal AG:
MAN Ferrostaal is a global provider of industrial services in plant construction and engineering. As a general contractor in plant construction, the company offers project development, project management and financial planning for turnkey installations including petrochemical plants, gas and solar power stations, oil and gas installations, biofuels and industrial plants. MAN Ferrostaal operates as an independent sales and service partner in the automotive, printing and packaging machinery, piping and marine construction sectors, employing around 4,400 people in 60 different countries. In 2008, its annual turnover amounted to more than 1.6 billion euros. 70 % of shares in MAN Ferrostaal AG are owned by the International Petroleum Investment Company from Abu Dhabi (IPIC), 30% are held by MAN AG (Munich). More information at http://www.manferrostaal.com/.
About solar-thermal power plant technology:
Solar-thermal power plants generate electricity by converting solar radiation into heat energy. In a parabolic trough power plant, trough-shaped mirrors concentrate the incidental radiation onto a pipe in the focal line of the collector. Its absorption heats a fluid heat medium in the pipe, generating steam in the power block through a heat exchanger. As in conventional power plants, the steam powers a turbine to generate electricity. By integrating thermal storage, electricity can be supplied on demand, even after sunset.
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