NTR Solar Project Development Company, Tessera Solar North America, Signs First Power Purchase Agreement Following NTR Investment


June 23 2009

NTR’s solar project development company, Tessera Solar North America,  today announced the signing of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with CPS Energy to develop a 27- megawatt (MW) solar project in West Texas, USA using the SunCatcher power system manufactured by Tessera Solar’s sister company, Stirling Energy Systems (SES). This is the first PPA to be signed by the company since NTR’s investment of $100m in Tessera Solar and SES in March 2008. The project will provide enough energy to power 4,000 San Antonio homes.

The PPA with San Antonio’s CPS Energy is the first Texas project for Tessera Solar and will complement Tessera Solar’s 1,500 MW of California projects in Imperial Valley and the Mojave Desert.
“While we have continued to progress the large-scale development projects in California which were part of the portfolio at our time of investment, our strategy from the outset of our investment was to build out our pipeline and broaden the diversity of projects,” said NTR Chief Executive Officer, Jim Barry. “This first PPA under the new strategy is an important milestone in growing our order book for SunCatchers and we are very pleased to be doing so with a quality utility such as CPS Energy.”

“This marks our first purchase of solar-generated energy, and we look for it to be the start of a successful solar program for many years to come,” said CPS Energy CEO Milton B. Lee. “Solar will complement our diversified approach to producing electricity. We look forward to working with Tessera to help satisfy our customers’ electric needs in Greater San Antonio.”

The Western Ranch Solar project is expected to break ground in Summer 2010, assuming timely completion of regulatory approvals, with the first units expected to come online by the end of 2010. The 27 MW solar project, comprised of 1,080 SunCatcher dishes, will create 100 construction jobs and up to 20 permanent jobs.

About The SunCatcher

The SunCatcher system uses precision mirrors attached to a parabolic dish to concentrate the sun’s energy onto a high-efficiency Stirling Engine. Each dish can generate up to 25,000 watts of power and has been certified by Sandia National Laboratories as having the highest sun-to-grid energy conversion in the world. In addition to its efficiency and cost advantages, the SunCatcher uses less than 1% of the water required by competing solar thermal technologies.

About NTR plc

NTR plc is a leading international developer and operator in renewable energy and sustainable waste management. Founded in 1978, NTR has evolved from being a developer and operator of infrastructure in Ireland to an international developer and operator of renewable energy (wind, solar and bio-ethanol), and sustainable waste management businesses in the USA, UK, and Ireland. The company employs over 4,100 people and has a market capitalization of €597m ($825m). 

About Tessera Solar

Tessera Solar North America, headquartered in Houston, Texas, with offices in Scottsdale, Arizona and Berkeley, California, and Tessera Solar International, based in London, England, are exclusively responsible for the global deployment of the SunCatcher solar dish Stirling system, the solar electricity generation technology manufactured by our sister company SES Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

About Stirling Energy Systems (SES Inc.)

SES Inc. was formed in 1996 to develop and commercialize advanced solar technology. The company maintains corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, an office in Tustin, California, and engineering and test site operations at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The SES SunCatcher is a concentrating solar power (CSP) technology that uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity. CSP technologies include dish systems, parabolic troughs, power towers and concentrating photovoltaic. The dish concentrator tracks, collects and focuses the sun’s energy and the Stirling engine converts the thermal energy to grid quality electricity. The SunCatcher technology has significant advantages over other CSP technology including power conversion efficiency, cost competitiveness and low water usage. The SunCatcher is a zero emission renewable energy technology. NTR owns a controlling stake in SES Inc.

About CPS Energy

CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipally owned energy company providing both natural gas and electric service.  Acquired by the City of San Antonio in 1942, the company serves approximately 695,000 electric customers and more than 320,000 natural gas customers in and around America’s seventh-largest city. CPS Energy ranks among the nation’s lowest-cost energy providers, owns the highest financial ratings of any electric system in the U. S. and stands number 1 in wind-energy capacity among municipally owned utilities across the country. 

For more information, visit www.ntrplc.com, www.tesserasolar.com, www.stirlingenergy.com and www.cpsenergy.com.

Enquiries:

Issued on behalf of NTR plc by Heneghan PR: Nigel Heneghan / Rachel Watchorn Tel: +353 1 660 7395

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