Solar Tower Technology - Western Arizona

Adrian Smith
An ambitious solar energy project is coming to western Arizona. A 2,500 feet-tall tower will form the centerpiece of a non-polluting power plant. This will create large amounts of non-intermittent competitively priced green power.

Twice the height of the Empire State building, the iconic solar tower will instantly become one of the world's tallest buildings. Once completed, it will produce clean, renewable power with virtually no maintenance until it's more than 75 years old.

The Solar Tower will offset one million tonnes of green house gases per year and will save the use of up to one billion gallons of potable water annually – water that is typically associated with traditional power generation methods.

This is the first of two solar tower developments in Arizona. EnviroMission, developer of innovative large scale renewable energy projects, has a Power Purchase Agreement to sell 200MW of solar powered electricity to the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA). Each 200MW solar powered power station will have the capacity to supply clean renewable energy to more than 100,000 typical U.S. households.

Collectively, the towers will occupy approximately 10,000 acres of land. This is comparable to the land required to produce a similar amount of energy through other solar technologies.

As part of an international project team, led by Arup, Faithful+Gould is providing project management and cost management services, from the Solar Tower’s concept design stage through to construction and project operation. We bring local expertise and on the ground presence in Phoenix, where EnviroMission has established its US headquarters.

This is a project of considerable complexity, both technically and logistically. Local opinion is largely in favor, with the nearest cities, Parker and Quartzite, standing to benefit from the increased stimulus brought by the scheme.

EnviroMission Chief Executive Roger Davey said, “Faithful+Gould will provide vital local expertise and services for Solar Tower development that will meet the terms of delivery of EnviroMission’s power purchase agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority.”

Faithful+Gould has many years’ experience of supporting clients in the energy sector and we have forged strong relationships with major oil corporations and electricity providers. We are now transferring many of our skills into the renewables market, supported by our experience in Europe, and the UK industry’s offshore developments. We offer project management and cost management services to financiers, utility companies and developers.

Recently we have supported clients with:

  • onshore wind
  • hydro and wind renewable energy projects
  • solar thermal electric
  • photovoltaics
  • combined heat and power (CHP)/cogeneration
  • other distributed generation projects

We have also provided input on biofuels pilot projects sponsored by several major oil companies, and feasibility study support for steam and power generation (cogeneration) using waste heat and steam from existing refineries.