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La Paz Solar Tower project in Arizona, USA

The EnviroMission Solar Tower will be constructed in Arizona east of Lake Havasu, which straddles the Arizona-California border between the towns of Parker and Quartzsite in La Paz County, roughly 130 miles west of Phoenix.
The company that constructed the 160-story Dubai Burj Khalifa skyscraper will construct for EnviroMission the La Paz Solar Tower in Arizona, USA. (THe Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is the tallest building in the world standing at 2,717 feet. The La Paz Solar Tower will be 2d, and first in America).
It would have an observation deck and could withstand an 8.5-magnitude earthquake.
A single 200MW Solar Tower power station will provide enough electricity to power around 100,000 typical American households, or remove the equivalent of 220,000 motor vehicles from the roads.
According to SCPPA, “The Solar Tower facility is anticipated to generate more than 1,000,000 MWhs of renewable energy per year.”
The facility is expected to offset more than one million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.
The $750 million to $1 billion project is expected to go online in 2015.

SOME FIGURES
In order to deliver a large amount of power, the tower has to be tall: the La Paz solar tower will be nearly 2,625 feet tall (800 m). That’s about twice the size of the Empire State Building in New York and the tallest structure in North America.
The canopy will be four miles wide and acts like a giant greenhouse baking in the sun. Its job is to soak up Arizona sunshine (there are more than 300 sunny days a year in parts of the state) and let it heat the air inside naturally. The hot air rises and spins turbines on its way up the 300-foot-wide thermal chimney. The system can continue working even after sunset by storing heat during the day in black plastic reservoirs filled with water.
The greenhouse collector area will be about 2,500 acres (10.1 km2). The total available area is 5,500 acres (22.3 km2 ; 1 acre = 0.00405 km2).
The canopy will be 10 feet (~3 m) off the ground on the outside of the collector area and slopes slightly upwards, to 50 feet (~15 m) off the ground at the centre.
The suction will create a 35 mph (56 km/h) wind at the base of the tower, which will power 32 turbines of 6.25 MW and generate electricity. The turbines work just like well-understood Kaplan turbines commonly used in hydroelectric power plants.
During sunny days in Arizona, the outside temperature would be 40 degrees Celsius, the temperature under the collector would be 80 to 90 degrees Celsius and the temperature at the top of the tower would be 32 degrees Celsius. This creates the ideal temperature differential that EnviroMission desires.

The technology used by this 200-megawatt project is truly innovative as it uses no water, just hot air, to drive turbines. Solar Tower energy generation doesn't require the use of water, which puts it at a distinct advantage to other renewable and traditional coal & nuclear energy producers.
According to the company the Solar Tower project earmarked for Arizona will abate the approximate usage of 528 million gallons of potable water (drinking water) per annum.

Generally, solar operates for about six to seven hours per day; this operates about 16 hours a day because of latent heat build-up underneath the greenhouse.
The city would purchase up to $6.6-million worth of solar power generated by the La Paz Tower annually for 30 years once the tower is operational.
Sanchez said: “The public should know that this is $95 to $100 per megawatt-hour”. “Everything the district is moving forward is green energy, and green energy comes at a cost, which means higher rates.” On the one hand operating costs for a solar power plant are considerably lower as there are no costs for combustibles. On the other hand, investment costs for a solar updraft tower are significantly higher than for a fossil fuel power plant.
The important initial investment requires full amortization and interest payments. As a result, the solar power is more expensive than energy from power plants that burn fossil fuels until low cost combustibles are available and there is no tax on CO2 emissions.
However, with low interest rates and long amortization periods, solar energy becomes cheaper. When financed at a low interest rate (< 6%) and with a 40-year amortization period, electricity generation costs can be reduced to as low as 0.06 €/kWh.
A solar updraft chimney has a life expectancy of 80 to 120 years, to be compared to 40 years for a coal power plant or 60 years for a nuclear facility.
Large-scale solar facilities can thus make a significant contribution to the global, clean and cost-efficient supply of energy.

The 3rd International Conference on Solar Updraft Tower Power will take place from 26 to 28 October, 2012 at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in Wuhan, China.
The homepage of the 3rd International Conference on Solar Updraft Tower Power Technology 2012 (SUTPT 2012) is available at http://www.sutpt2012.org.

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2011 December 12
Work on solar tower progressing
http://www.parkerpioneer.net/articles/2011/12/12/news/
By JOHN GUTEKUNST, Parker Pioneer
Christopher and Roger Davey, of EnviroMission, gave the La Paz County Supervisors an update at their Dec. 5 2011 meeting on the status of a proposed solar tower, which will be built between Parker and Quartzsite.

The project, when completed, will consist of a tower more than 2,000 feet tall and a greenhouse-like canopy at the base, which will be more than 2,000 feet in diameter. Air will be heated under the canopy and will rise into the tower. The rising hot air will turn 32 turbines to generate electricity.
The plant will have no emissions and will not use any water to create electricity.
EnviroMission is based in Australia. In previous meetings, they told the supervisors the concept had been tested and proven at a plant in Spain. They estimated the La Paz County plant would produce enough electricity for 150,000 homes.

Christopher Davey said engineers and consultants had been at the site, and their aerial surveys had been completed. A water analysis was being done.
“It’s a perfect location for what we’re looking to do,” he said.
Davey said the company is trying to determine what permits they will need. He added an environmental study still needs to be done, and formal hearings on the project as part of the permit process.
In earlier meetings, Davey had announced Hensel Phelps, a firm based in Greeley, Colo., had been hired to build the project. An internationally recognized firm, they built the American embassy in Berlin, Germany, and the South Terminal at Miami International Airport.
Davey announced the Australian firm Arup had been hired to design the project. He acknowledged Arup is not well known in America, but stated the structures they are known for include the Sydney Opera House and Centre Pompidou in Paris. They also designed many of the structures for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
On their website, www.arup.com, Arup described themselves as a company specializing in environmentally sustainable architecture. They describe “corporate responsibility” as their way of working.

Davey said EnviroMission is creating a new website specific to this project, and it will have links to the various partners in the project, including those in construction, engineering, and financing.
EnviroMission has also hired Terracon, a Kansas-based firm, to do the initial geotechnical work. In a press release dated Nov. 21, 2011, Terracon said the work they will be performing included foundation analysis, soil stabilization and ground improvement, and subsurface exploration and testing.
Terracon estimated the project would eliminate the production of 1 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses each year, as well abating the use of 1 billion gallons of water.
Davey said the plant will employ approximately 1,500 people while its under construction, and 40 once it’s completed. While the plant itself will cost $750 million, he estimated the economic impact on the county at $2 billion.
Roger Davey said the project would likely also become a major tourist attraction, generating even more revenue for the county.
Parker resident Bobby Page asked if the project would use local contractors and suppliers.
The Daveys replied their plan was to use local talent and suppliers to the extent that they could. They added Henshel Phelps takes pride in using local workers and suppliers.
Christopher Davey said there should be more activity at the site in February as more engineering and design work is performed.

Davey said EnviroMission was proceeding, and they hope to break ground late in 2012. However, they also want to be sure everything is in order and done properly.
“We want to make sure all our ducks are in a row before we break ground,” he said. He then added, “We’re hitting the ground running all over the world.”
District 2 Supervisor John Drum thanked Christopher and Roger Davey for the update, and for their efforts on the project.
“This will be a big project,” he said. “They’ve done everything they said they would.”
For more information on the project, go to EnviroMission’s website: www.enviromission.com.au

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2011 October 10
Can hot air be the free fuel of the future?
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/02/tech/innovation/solar-tower-arizona/index.html?hpt=hp_c2
By Steve Almasy, CNN
An Australian company says it can produce enough electricity for 100,000 homes by using the movement of hot air.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS• Hot air will drive turbines to create electricity, then flow out through a tall chimney
• The tower will be the second tallest structure in the world
• EnviroMission, an Australian company, wants to build it in the Arizona desert
(CNN) -- You don't have to be a science major to know that heat rises: Just step into an attic on a hot summer day. But what you might not know is that this basic scientific reality could also help create clean energy for entire cities.
For centuries, architects have taken advantage of rising heat to help cool some structures. Solar chimneys allow the rising air to go out of the building, taking the heat with it.
Today, Australian entrepreneur Roger Davey wants to take advantage of that phenomenon -- with a twist.
He wants to create, capture and control hot air to help power cities. He plans to build a huge solar updraft tower, 2,600 feet tall, in the Arizona desert. As the hot air moves into the tower, it would turn 32 turbines, spinning them fast enough to create mechanical energy, which generators convert to electricity.
His company, EnviroMission, says such a tower can create up to 200 megawatts of power, enough to power 100,000 homes. He says they don't intend to put coal or nuclear or alternative power out of business, but want to be a strong, no-carbon emission supplementary source.
"One of the most important things I think that differentiates this from anything else is its ability to produce power as and when required," said Davey, chief executive and executive director of EnviroMission, the company behind the solar updraft tower.
That sets it apart from solar (not available at night) and wind energy (not available on a calm day), which he referred to as "spasmodic."
He also touted its ability to produce power without the use of water to generate electricity. Coal-fired and nuclear plants use massive quantities of water, and solar panels need to be washed frequently to keep them working well.

On the drawing board
The EnviroMission tower is only a concept right now, but Davey says the technology has been proved by a different company's smaller version that worked for seven years on the plains of Spain. It created 50 kilowatts of electricity, according to that company, the German builders Schlaich, Bergermann and Partner.
But the 125-ton iron structure toppled in 1989 after its support cables broke in a lengthy storm, a spokeswoman for Schalich, Bergermann and Partner, said in an e-mail. The tower had already collected all the data to prove it could work, she added.
A small tower began operation in China last year, according to the Xinhua news agency. The Chinese company's project reportedly will cost $208 million and will be built in phases. The first section of the plant produces 200 kilowatts per day, Xinhua reported.
EnviroMission is the only publicly traded developer working on this technology, a company spokeswoman said.
Its model calls for a tower with no support wires and, unlike the other structures, it will be built from cement. The solar tower would be the second-tallest structure in the world, slightly shorter than Dubai's Burj Khalifa skyscraper.
EnviroMission says its tower will stand for 80 years, far longer than the average life for a field of solar panels, which some would see as an alternative with a smaller upfront cost.
Davey says the Arizona project will cost $750 million to build at its present size and scope (with further refinements the price could rise or fall 10% to 15%, he says).
EnviroMission has already raised "substantial capital" for its project, according to spokeswoman Kim Forte.
The company also recently presold the power that would be created at one of the Arizona facilities to the Southern California Public Power Authority, which comprises 12 utilities.
Mohammad Taslim, a professor of mechanical engineering at Northeastern University, says the two important concerns are: Will the plant produce as much energy as EnviroMission predicts and will it be economical and environmentally friendly?
"Fundamentally from an engineering standpoint it is sound," he said. "I believe that the question is not that this will not work at all. It might be the claim of 200 megawatts is not quite reachable at the peak."
Taslim initially said he thought the engineers should consider composite materials like carbon fiber. But, after a few back-of-the-envelope calculations, he concluded, "an 800-meter structure of composite materials cannot withstand its own weight and a much more complicated structure is required."
According to EnviroMission, the amount of carbon pollution created by the manufacture and shipment of the cement and other materials needed to build the facility will be offset after 2½ years of operation.

Spinning turbines create electricity
Power from hot air

The technology works like this: Unlike normal solar photovoltaic panels that convert the sun's light into energy, the EnviroMission tower would create solar-thermal power, from both the sun and the wind.
Like a greenhouse, the sun heats up the air underneath a huge translucent, sloping canopy around the tower that is about as wide as a football field.
The air is heated to about 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) and then it flows into the tower, spins the turbines and rises.
The higher the tower, the stronger the flow of air. The faster the turbines spin, the more electricity possible.
After sundown, the ground continues to release heat and more electricity would be generated.

The long road ahead
Davey says the hurdles to getting his solar tower built are a combination of political factors, environmental policies and the cheap cost of fossil fuels. He wanted to build this project in his home country of Australia, but he says the United States has a more acceptable political climate.
He also said that for the past 10 years EnviroMission has been doing its "due diligence" in designing a better solar tower plant to assure its potential private investors.
"We had to improve the technology from what it was from when the plant in Spain was built to what it is now -- commercially viable," he said.
The plant should take about two years to build and provide up to 1,500 construction jobs, he says. Then once the site is operating, a 30-person staff will operate the plant, providing maintenance to the canopy and turbines, as well as security and possible tours. Because air is free, operating costs will be minimal, he said.
The next step is determining the final capital costs, which will take a few months.
"And then you can work out whether the economics stack up," he said. "We've got to go to the bankers and ensure you can get it banked. We believe it will."

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2011 August 15
VIDEO: Huffington Post Video Giant Solar Energy Tower Headed to Arizona
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/arizona-solar-tower-twice_n_913447.html

2011 August 15
https://www.cleanenergyexperts.com/2011/08/15/renewable-energy-projects-under-pressure-from-feds-and-environmental-groups/
Recently, the Arizona solar market received a huge boost as Australian-based EnviroMission moved forward on plans to build a massive solar tower in Arizona’s La Paz County.
This solar tower will be twice as tall as the Empire State building, 2,600 feet tall, making it the second-tallest building in the world and will be able to produce clean, cheap electricity for 150,000 homes with its 200 megawatt power generation capacity for up to 80 years. One of the reasons why a project of this immense size can be built is because the solar tower will be located in isolated, desert north of Quartzsite, Arizona on about 5,500 acres. Land that is not as remote may be too expensive to purchase for a project this size.
However, what if this land were restricted to any development as a part of BLM’s wild lands program? EnviroMission would be forced into land that may not be as cost-effective, potentially ruining the financial viability of the project. It is basic economics: if the government starts restricting the supply of available land, then the demand is going to increase and so is the price. But this is the risk the Obama administration and other local municipalities are facing as they work to restrict more and more land, potentially making it harder and more costly for company’s like EnviroMission to find land to build these types of projects on.

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2011 August 14,
The incredible construction projects that will reshape the next century
By KEVIN F. SHERRY
ARIZONA SOLAR TOWER
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/wonders_of_the_new_world
Imagine the size of the Empire State Building. Now double it. That’s the height of a proposed solar tower in the middle of the Arizona desert by a company called EnviroMission. The plan is to generate enough power to run 150,000 homes in Arizona and California. The base of the structure, which will sit roughly 130 miles west of Phoenix near the California border, is two miles wide and acts like a giant greenhouse baking in the sun. Its job is to soak up all that Arizona sunshine (there are more than 300 sunny days a year in parts of the state) and let it heat the air inside naturally. The hot air rises and spins turbines on its way up the 300-foot-wide thermal chimney. And voilà, instant electricity to run air conditioners and plasma TVs. The system can continue working even after sunset by storing heat during the day. The $700 million project is expected to go online in 2015. At 2,600 feet tall, the chimney would become the world’s second-tallest building. If things go well, anywhere from two to six tower complexes could make the Arizona desert look a lot more interesting, all while providing very cheap, very clean electricity.

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2011 July 29
EnviroMission Solar Tower, LaPaz County, Arizona
http://www.azoutback.com/SolarTower.htm
video on http://lvideos.5min.com/1/345/5171345/517134474.mp4

See TV interview on http://news.yahoo.com/video/phoenixktvk3tv-15751070/massive-solar-tower-in-arizona-to-be-world-s-2nd-largest-building-26047206.html

The scale of the first 200MW power station will capture worldwide attention and attract significant added value through tourism and agribusiness.
At 2,600 feet tall, the chimney of the La Paz Solar Tower would become the world’s second-tallest building. The base of the structure is two miles wide and acts like a giant greenhouse baking in the sun.

Clean energy technology
The solar updraft tower is a renewable-energy power plant. It combines the chimney effect, the greenhouse effect and the wind turbine. Air is heated by sunshine and contained in a very large greenhouse-like structure around the base of a tall chimney, and the resulting convection causes air to rise up the updraft tower. This airflow drives turbines, which produce electricity.
The southwest region of the US, specifically Arizona, has been identified as an ideal Solar Tower development destination based on meteorological data and regional market conditions that include strong mandates and incentives for renewable energy generation.
The construction time to build a 200MW Solar Tower is approximately 2 years. Although a construction start date has not yet been disclosed, a construction/project management team was selected and announced August 4, 2011.

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2011 July 27
Solar power tower in Arizona to be world's second tallest building (a whopping twice the height of the Empire State Building)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2019197/Arizona-solar-power-tower-worlds-2nd-tallest-building.html
By PAUL BENTLEY
• Huge tower will generate electricity using turbines, the sun's heat and a massive 2,600 foot chimney
• Enough power will be generated to run 150,000 homes
• Building will provide jobs for 1,500 people
• Massive structure, which will have a two mile diameter base, will cost $700million to build
A gargantuan solar power tower is to be built in the Arizona desert, which, at double the height of the Empire State Building, will be the second tallest building in the world.
The tower, which will be built 130 miles west of Phoenix in La Paz County, is planned as a revolutionary electricity source deep in the desert.
Massive: The structure will be the second tallest in the world - twice the height of the Empire State Building

Mammoth: The greenhouse base of the huge tower will be more than two miles in diameter
Turbines will be used to force air which is heated by the sun through a 2,600 foot chimney in order to generate huge amounts of natural power.
It is estimated that more than one million megawatt hours will be produced by the huge building, providing enough electricity to power 150,000 homes.
The project is being planned by a company called EnviroMission. Its president, Chris Davey, told azfamily.com: 'It doesn't use water; it does it reliably; it does it cost competitively. I don't think the industry could ask for more than that.'

Revolutionary: If it goes through, the $700million project will open up 1,500 new jobs, for engineers and workmen required to help build the facility

Power: The structure will create electricity using wind from turbines and solar heat

The greenhouse base of the huge tower will be more than two miles in diameter and the diameter of the tower itself will be as big as a football field.
It will be double the height of the Empire State Building and just a bit shorter than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which, standing at 2,717 feet, is the tallest building in the world.
EnviroMission is currently negotiating a land deal with the state and has already agreed a 30-year power purchase agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority.

If it goes through, the project will open up 1,500 new jobs, for engineers and workmen required to help build the facility.
It is estimated the project will cost $700million.
The plans come more than a decade after a smaller prototype was built in Spain.
The area in Arizona chosen for the project was picked because it is hot, flat and close to transmission lines in both Arizona and California.
If all goes well, the company plans further facilities in Mexico, India and Australia, as well as more replicas in Arizona.
'Arizona is large enough for us to build multiple facilities,' Mr Davey said. 'Where the first project is located, there's enough land for half a dozen facilities out there.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2019197/Arizona-solar-power-tower-worlds-2nd-tallest-building.html#ixzz1ip4gezn9

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2011 July 27
Solar Power Company Plans Giant Arizona Tower, Second Tallest Structure on Earth
By NED POTTER (@NedPotterABC), ABC NEWS
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/solar-power-giant-arizona-tower-planned-generate-clean/story?id=14163138#.TwjrSKXj5lw
In the desert of western Arizona, a power company proposes to build the world's tallest chimney -- a tower, 2,600 feet tall, that would be the centerpiece of a giant non-polluting power plant, making electricity from the heat of the sun.
The project has been started by an Australian company calledEnviroMission, which says it hopes, by the time it is finished construction in early 2015, to provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 200,000 homes. It would burn no fuel. Nothing quite like it has ever been tried in America before.
In fact, nothing quite like it has been tried anywhere else in the world, aside from a small test project in Spain. The finished tower would be the second-tallest structure on the planet, just a hundred feet shorter than theBurj Khalifa luxury skyscraper in Dubai. It would be twice as tall as New York's Empire State Building.
"It would be conceited to say we have the solution," said Chris Davey, the president of EnviroMission's U.S. operations in Phoenix, "but it's a reasonable energy alternative."
When one mentions solar power, most people probably think of so-called photovoltaics -- those big, flat panels that have been used to power spacecraft, but so far have been considered too expensive for large-scale commercial use. EnviroMission plans something very different.
Its design consists of a giant, round greenhouse-like structure, under which air would become trapped and get very hot -- around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hot air naturally tries to rise, so it would rush toward the tall tower in the center. On the way, it would pass through any of 32 turbines, whose turning blades would run generators and create electricity. The plant would burn no fuel, emitting no greenhouse gases.
"It's a very favorable operation," said John Drum, a member of the local county board of supervisors. "It'll bring quite a few jobs to our county, and when it's done there will be 40 to 50 people to run it."
It would also draw attention to this isolated place, off state route 95 north of Quartzsite, Ariz. Supporters say the view from the top on a clear day would be stupendous.

Clean Solar Energy, Even at Night
EnviroMission says the beauty of its design is that the plant doesn't only work in blazing sunlight. All it needs is for there to be some solar heating. The company says it has checked out possible sites in Kansas, Pennsylvania and rural New Jersey -- cooler, cloudier places than Arizona. Davey says the company's calculations show the chimney would even generate power at night. The air in the canopy would be warmed by the sand beneath it, which would have absorbed excess heat during the day.
"It's incredibly benign," Davey said. "No water, no dangerously high temperatures, no 'death rays' from mirrors, very few moving parts."
If it all sounds too good to be true, remember that the plant is still far from being built. Financing the project, currently estimated at $750 million, could be difficult. There is still a thicket of regulations to be dealt with. What's more, economics may simply not be on solar's side. Coal and natural gas, despite the air pollution and carbon dioxide they give off when burned, still generate electricity more cheaply.
Environmental advocates are conflicted too, not wanting to oppose a source of clean power or a boost to the local economy, but concerned that it might affect migrating birds and local wildlife, even in the desert.
"This thing seems to be a weird black hole at the moment," said Vashti Supplee, the director of bird conservation for the Arizona chapter of the National Audubon Society. She said it's possible that birds, migrating along the nearby Colorado River, would be confused by it. "I don't know what's going on with it."
She said she had not yet seen an Environmental Impact Statement, something required by law, and local land regulations had to be altered because nothing as tall as EnviroMission's tower had ever been contemplated in the area.
But EnviroMission's Davey said the company has moved slowly and quietly, so that it does not promise a miracle power source that does not work.
"All we're using," he said, "is warm air to drive turbines."

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2011 July 26
http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pick/solar-tower-in-arizona-to-power-150000-homes-for-80-years-20110726/
Solar Tower in Arizona to power 150,000 homes for 80 years
By: Matthew Humphries

We live in a world where energy consumption continues to escalate while our natural resources diminish. In order to meet our current and future energy demands a switch needs to be made so as to rely more on renewable energy than non-renewable.
The main forms of renewable energy we use today are solar, wind, and hydro power. Each has its place, and all keep improving, but only solar looks like it may eventually offer a decent solution to providing enough energy to power our homes.
Saying that though, solar panels are far from efficient, and still remain a daytime-only energy producer. However, there is another solar energy generator that is about to be built in the Arizona desert, and it will produce renewable energy at a far higher rate than any solar panel currently can.
This new solar energy generator is called a Solar Tower. It has been created by EnviroMission and doesn’t actually convert the sun’s rays into an energy source like a solar panels do. Instead, the Solar Tower relies on hot air to produce power.
As you can see from the images and videos included here, the solar tower is a massive structure that is more than twice the height of the Empire State Building. Underneath the tower, and fanning out in a circle is a massive greenhouse covered by glass panels. When the sun hits the glass it heats up the air underneath to as high as 90 degrees Celsius. The tower is so tall because it’s the temperature differential that sucks the hot air out of the greenhouse below. Every 100 meters you go up the temperature will drop one degree, so a very tall tower means the air will be sucked out with a lot of force because the differential is greater. As that happens the hot air is forced through 32 generators which produce power.
There are several benefits to this method of clean energy generation. The 2,625ft tower is capable of producing 200 megawatts at peak production and is expected to power 150,000 homes. At the same time it is a completely clean system producing no waste other than hot air and can work in most weather conditions. This first tower is also being built on desert land that would otherwise remain unused. As for cost, the build has a price tag of $750 million, but it will pay that back in 11 years by selling the energy produced. The tower has a lifespan of around 80 years making it ultimately very profitable for investors.

Because the system relies on hot air to function, when the sun goes down the tower does not stop producing energy. That only happens when the air in the greenhouse drops below a certain temperature and the differential isn’t big enough, so production could continue for a few hours after sunset. Efficiency wise, EnviroMission states it’s around 60%.
One final benefit of the tower is its ability to support the growth of food. As you are effectively creating a giant greenhouse it’s quite possible to use the area below as you would any greenhouse, although we’re not sure what plants and vegetables grow in 90 degree heat.
The first Solar Tower in Arizona is set to come online in 2015. It should be producing completely clean energy until at least 2095 at which point I’d hope we have a planet relying completely on renewable energy.

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2011 July 22
Arizona solar power tower to be world's second tallest building
Posted in the Solar Business category by Nate Lew
http://solar.coolerplanet.com/News/800561088-arizona-solar-power-tower-to-be-worlds-second-tallest-building.aspx
A new solar power tower to be built in La Paz County, Arizona, will generate more than 1 million megawatt hours and be the world's second largest building.

The plans for the building are being made by EnviroMission, who will look to break ground next year. The building will use turbines to force air heated by the sun up through 2,600-foot chimney to create electricity. It will create enough solar power for 150,000 homes according to company president Chris Davey.

"It doesn't use water; it does it reliably; it does it cost competitively," Davey told The Associated Press. "I don't think the industry could ask for more than that."

The construction of the tower will cost $700 million and create about 1,500 jobs.

Geek.com, a technology news website, explains the tower further. It said the tower will create solar energy at a higher rate than any solar panel can with glass that heats up under the tower. The tower, 2,625 feet tall or twice the size of the Empire State Building, sucks the hot air out of the "greenhouse" glass below. As the hot air is drawn up, 32 generators produce solar power.

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2011 July 21
Twice the height of the Empire State - EnviroMission plans massive solar tower for Arizona
By Loz Blain with Image Gallery (24 images)
http://www.gizmag.com/enviromission-solar-tower-arizona-clean-energy-renewable/19287/

An ambitious solar energy project on a massive scale is about to get underway in the Arizona desert. EnviroMission is undergoing land acquisition and site-specific engineering to build its first full-scale solar tower - and when we say full-scale, we mean it! The mammoth 800-plus meter (2625 ft) tall tower will instantly become one of the world's tallest buildings. Its 200-megawatt power generation capacity will reliably feed the grid with enough power for 150,000 US homes, and once it's built, it can be expected to more or less sit there producing clean, renewable power with virtually no maintenance until it's more than 80 years old. In the video after the jump, EnviroMission CEO Roger Davey explains the solar tower technology, the Arizona project and why he couldn't get it built at home in Australia.

How Solar Towers Work
Enviromission's solar tower is a simple idea taken to gigantic proportions. The sun beats down on a large covered greenhouse area at the bottom, warming the air underneath it. Hot air wants to rise, so there's a central point for it to rush towards and escape; the tower in the middle. And there's a bunch of turbines at the base of the tower that generate electricity from that natural updraft.
It's hard to envisage that sort of system working effectively until you tweak the temperature variables and scale the whole thing up. Put this tower in a hot desert area, where the daytime surface temperature sits at around 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), and add in the greenhouse effect and you've got a temperature under your collector somewhere around 80-90 degrees (176-194 F). Scale your collector greenhouse out to a several hundred-meter radius around the tower, and you're generating a substantial volume of hot air.
Then, raise that tower up so that it's hundreds of meters in the air - because for every hundred metres you go up from the surface, the ambient temperature drops by about 1 degree. The greater the temperature differential, the harder the tower sucks up that hot air at the bottom - and the more energy you can generate through the turbines.

The advantages of this kind of power source are clear:
• Because it works on temperature differential, not absolute temperature, it works in any weather;
• Because the heat of the day warms the ground up so much, it continues working at night;
• Because you want large tracts of hot, dry land for best results, you can build it on more or less useless land in the desert;
• It requires virtually no maintenance - apart from a bit of turbine servicing now and then, the tower "just works" once it's going, and lasts as long as its structure stays standing;
• It uses no 'feed stock' - no coal, no uranium, nothing but air and sunlight;
• It emits absolutely no pollution - the only emission is warm air at the top of the tower. In fact, because you're creating a greenhouse underneath, it actually turns out to be remarkably good for growing vegetation under there.

The Arizona Project
While this is not the first solar tower that has been built (a small-scale test rig in Spain proved the technology more than a decade ago) EnviroMission has chosen to build its first full-scale power plant in the deserts of Arizona, USA.
The Arizona tower will be a staggering 800 metres or so tall - just 30 meters shorter than the colossal Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest man-made structure. To put that in context - it will stand more than double the height of the Empire State building in New York City, and it'll be as much as 130 meters in diameter at the top. Truly a gigantic structure.
Currently undergoing site-specific engineering and land acquisition, EnviroMission estimates the tower will cost around US$750 million to build. It will generate a peak of 200 megawatts, and run at an efficiency of around 60% - vastly more efficient and reliable than other renewable energy sources.
The output has already been pre-sold - the Southern California Public Power Authority recently signed a 30-year power purchase agreement with EnviroMission that will effectively allow the tower to provide enough energy for an estimated 150,000 US homes. Financial modelling projects that the tower will pay off its purchase price in just 11 years - and the engineering team are shooting for a structure that will stand for 80 years or more.
Considering that a large city like Los Angeles requires total power in the region of 7,200 megawatts, you'd have to build a few dozen solar towers up to the same size as the Arizona project if you wanted to completely replace the existing, primarily coal-based energy supply for that city's 3.7 million-odd residents. So it's not an instant solution - but then, its short projected payback period and virtually zero operating costs make it a very sound economic proposition that competes favourably against other renewable sources.
Under the terms of the pre-purchase agreement, the Arizona tower is due to begin delivering power at the start of 2015. Watch this space!

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2011 May 11
Two 2500-foot solar towers to be built in Arizona
by Jonathan DuHamel
http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2011/05/11/two-2500-foot-solar-towers-to-be-built-in-arizona/
I first wrote about solar towers in August, 2009. Now, Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) says they have agreed to buy power from two 2,500-foot towers to be built between the towns of Parker and Quartzsite in La Paz County, Arizona, with construction to start in 2012.


Each tower will be surrounded by a mile-wide greenhouse designed to heat air, which will then rise through the tower after passing through turbines. The rated peak capacity will be 200 megawatts for each tower.
According to SCPPA, “The Solar Tower facility is anticipated to generate more than 1,000,000 MWhs of renewable energy per year.” The towers were developed and will be built by an Australian company,EnviroMission. I could not find figures on the exact cost, but an October, 2010, estimate by Phoenix Business Journal puts the figure at somewhere between $700 million and $1 Billion. In December, 2010, the Arizona Republic put the cost at $750 million for one tower. That capital cost works out to about $3,750 per Kwh capacity. To put that in perspective, coal plants cost abut $3,167 per Kwh, natural gas plants cost about $1,003 per Kwh, and solar voltaic plants cost about $4,755 per Kwh according to the Energy Information Administration. So far there are no data on how much of the peak capacity will actually be available. Availability is generally near 90% for fossil fuel plants and less than 25% for solar voltaic plants.
If built, the towers will be the tallest structures in the U.S. and second only to the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai.
Copyrighted by Jonathan DuHamel. Reprint is permitted provided that credit of authorship is provided and linked back to the source.

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2011 January 20
Solar Tower Technology Shines at $60 Million
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/solar-tower-technology-shines-at-60-million-114272744.html
PHOENIX/ PRNewswire / Solar Tower developer, EnviroMission Limited (ASX: EVM) (Pink Sheets: EVOMY), is pleased to announce it has received an independent valuation of its Australian Solar Tower technology, associated intellectual property and development rights at $60,000,000.
The independent valuation was sought to provide a value to the intellectual property, know how and licenses as they are currently owned and held by EnviroMission and its subsidiaries as distinct from the Solar Tower license that has been progressively amortized and fully impaired in the 2010 annual accounts.
Acuity Technology Management conducted the independent assessment and placed a value of $60,000,000, on the intellectual property, development rights and overall commerciality; this valuation will be referenced in the notes to EnviroMission Limited Consolidated Half Year Financial Statements, as at December 31, 2010. EnviroMission's directors will now seek advice on revaluing the Intellectual Property above its current carrying value in the balance sheet and will act accordingly.
"This valuation represents an independent assessment of the value of EnviroMission's enhancements to Solar Tower technology, new intellectual property, know how and commercial prospects and outcomes such as the recent Power Purchase Agreement to sell electricity generated from the proposed Arizona Solar Tower to the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA)," Roger Davey, EnviroMission Chief Executive said.
A relief from royalties approach was applied by Acuity Technology Management that included a probability adjusted net present value of likely future cash flows, based on revenue projections supported in the Power Purchase Agreement documentation with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA).
Consideration was also given to the prospects for further Solar Tower facilities using economic modeling that moderated perceived risks to successful commercial development and project financing discounted to present value using a discount rate based on Capital Asset Pricing Model.
"This valuation reflects a current value of the actual technology that is being commercialized in Arizona for the SCPPA Power Purchase Agreement (PPA); it reflects the value of the enhancements, research and development and detailed engineering that has produced intellectual property and know how to provide greater commercial prospects from the technologically and economically enhanced Australian Solar Tower renewable energy technology that is owned by EnviroMission Limited," Mr. Davey said.
SOURCE EnviroMission Limited

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2011 January 6
City Council Wrap-Up
January 06, 2011 http://articles.glendalenewspress.com/2011-01-06/news/tn-gnp-ccwrap-20110106_1_new-department-solar-tower-solar-power
Solar Tower
The City Council on Tuesday approved a proposed purchase agreement for the La Paz Solar Tower Project with a consortium of cities through the Southern California Public Power Authority.
Australia-based EnviroMission is scheduled to build the project in the desert of Arizona's La Paz County, with construction on the 2,400-foot-high tower set to begin in July 2012.
WHAT IT MEANS
Under the agreement, the city would purchase up to $6.6-million worth of solar power generated by the La Paz Tower annually for 30 years once the tower is operational in 2014.
The city would only pay for power that is generated, officials said. The contract also provides for compensation if the tower is not functional.

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2010 December
Solar Tower Technology Could Export Power to California
http://www.sfaz.org/live/collection/solar-news/112047

EnviroMission Inc. has finalized a deal for a utility to buy power from a 2,400-foot-tall solar tower the company plans to build in western Arizona by 2014.
The deal with the Southern California Public Power Authority was approved Oct. 21, but EnviroMission still must gain Arizona Corporation Commission approval, meet local permitting requirements and secure financing to build the 200-megawatt plant, said EnviroMission President Chris Davey.
“All those development steps need to be done to move forward,” he said.
The project, to be built between the towns of Parker and Quartzsite in La Paz County, will be equivalent to a 240-story building. SCPPA’s approval provided something other large-scale solar providers have been lacking in recent months: a contract to sell their power to utilities.
Many utilities, including Arizona Public Service Co. and Salt River Project, have been shifting away from large concentrated solar projects and focusing instead on smaller photovoltaic projects.
EnviroMission, the U.S. subsidiary of Australia-based EnviroMission Ltd., had been selected as the top project in submissions to SCPPA, a joint operation of 11 municipal utilities with more than
2 million customers. In finalizing the deal, SCPPA Executive Director Bill Carnahan said the technology would allow the authority to buy power at competitive rates without using water — a plus in the solar industry.
The solar tower concept differs from other concentrated solar projects. A massive tower is surrounded by a huge greenhouse that traps air heated by the sun. That air is funneled up the tower at 35 mph past 32 wind turbines at its base, which generate the electricity.
EnviroMission now must wrap up work on financing, engineering and environmental studies required for projects on federal and state lands. The company already has started on those fronts and plans to bring in someone to finalize financing in the next 30 days as it starts lining up contractors, Davey said.
“From an execution perspective, it’s really about delivering the power within the period we’ve agreed,” he said.
The company also is finalizing the tower’s cost, but Davey believes it will be lower than traditional solar plants. An early estimate of about $3 per watt, or $700 million total, still is possible. A comparable concentrated solar power plant would cost $1 billion or more. Davey said the company won’t know final figures until engineering and design studies are complete.
The tower concept has drawn interest in Arizona because it doesn’t use water. CSP power plants have been under scrutiny for their heavy use of water, which can be the greatest of all sources of power generation.
“The technology used by this 200-megawatt project is truly innovative as it uses no water, just hot air, to drive turbines,” said Paul Newman, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. “The capacity factor is higher than solar PV and, if the project works as expected, could be just the kind of technology Arizona can benefit from.”
The water issue was front and center last week when the commission approved a certification of environmental compatibility and grid connections for the Hualapai Valley Solar LLC project in Kingman. Although approved, it came with challenges to use treated sewage water instead of groundwater. It also must use a technology called dry cooling that limits water use in power production, but also lowers overall power production capability.
ACC Chairwoman Kris Mayes said water is an issue for all power producers, not just solar.
“I think it’s pretty clear that large-scale utility projects moving forward should be dry-cooled and not using water,” she said.
There are potential exceptions, Mayes said. For example, when agricultural land is adapted for solar uses, power plants would use less water than crops.

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2010 November 16
http://www.solarfeeds.com/cleanenergyauthoritycom/15090-solar-towers-the-holy-grail-of-solar
Solar Towers: The Holy Grail of Solar?
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 Cleanenergyauthority.com
The Achilles heel of renewable energy has been its challenge with intermittency. Other problems include its use of natural resources such as water for cooling. What if you could design a utility-scale solar power plant that was persistent, not intermittent, and also used zero water?
Turns out you can. Unlike photovoltaic technology and other solar technologies, two Solar Towers proposed by EnviroMission Limited, the U.S. subsidiary of Australia-based EnviroMission, would be 100 percent reliable (non-intermittent), and waterless—two benefits the developer of the Solar Towers call a “game changer.”
What appear to be an innovative step forward in the solar industry, the Solar Towers combine solar and wind power to generate a substantial amount of energy—200 megawatts at each location. The technology used in the Solar Towers is known as “solar updraft” and consists of a single tall tower that uses both the sun’s rays and a chimney-like effect to heat air that’s collected in a greenhouse collector zone. The temperature of the air inside reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit and is then pushed out in drafts of hot air that generates power through wind turbines built near the structure. And the sun doesn’t have to be shining for the Solar Towers to generate power.
“Because we use direct and indirect heat, the Solar Tower produces the same amount of energy when it’s cloudy than it does when the sun is shining,” said Chris Davey, president of EnviroMission. “Other solar technologies such as PV rely solely on direct heat and are, therefore, intermittent. The Solar Tower technology is not intermittent. We can guarantee that power to the utility company.”
In addition to the reliable nature of the power profile, the other big benefit of solar updraft technology is that it’s waterless. Unlike other energy sources, including traditional PV solar projects, the Solar Towers do not need water for cooling. In a perpetually dry state such as Arizona—and an increasingly dry world—waterless energy isn’t just a good idea; it’s a necessity.
Together, the two Solar Towers—which will be about as wide as a two-car garage but more than a half-mile tall—will cover 11,000 acres of desert land, which is significantly more than the average utility solar installation. But, according to Davey, the environmental study was found to be culturally benign and in no need of environmental mitigation.
“There’s already a substation five miles from the project as well, so we can get power out to the customer without having to build transmission lines,” said Davey.
According to Davey, EnviroMission Limited is currently in the development phase of the proposed project after filing with the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee.
“At the risk of sounding too promotional, the Solar Tower technology is the holy grail of solar,” said Davey. “It’s truly sustainable where other solar technologies and renewable simply aren’t. As water prices begin to rise to where they should be, the ability to generate power without using water is going to be essential.”
Pictured: Not only are Enviromission's Solar Towers watterless, but they provide a home to both Morlocks and the Eloi. Image courtesy of Enviromission.

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2010 November 11
IID to consider purchasing power from 3,281-foot solar tower
BY DAVID STEFFEN
http://articles.ivpressonline.com/2010-11-11/iid-manager_24828005
Imperial Valley Press Staff Writer
2:22 AM PST, November 11, 2010
The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors is just a few days away from voting on the purchase of a 15-megawatt share of a planned 200-megawatt, 3,281-foot La Paz Solar Tower in Arizona.
A proposed power sales agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority — composed of numerous regional public utilities — will be on Tuesday’s IID consent agenda. SCPPA will have a power purchase agreement with the Australian company Enviro Mission, which is the La Paz Solar Tower developer. If agreed upon, IID would be entitled to a 15-megawatt share for 30 years.
IID Manager for Energy Supply and Trading David Kolk said IID would begin paying $95.50 per megawatt-hour once the tower begins operation. Prices would begin to increase at $1 per megawatt-hour in year 16. IID would not be liable for any risk if the project does not work.
“I would like to emphasize this is pay-for-performance,” Kolk said. “If the project doesn’t work — if it falls apart — there would be no obligation on the part of the district to have any payment whatsoever going forward with it.”
The EnviroMission Solar Tower will be constructed in Arizona east of Lake Havasu, which straddles the Arizona-California border. Construction will likely begin in 2012, with an estimated June 2014 operation date, said Noe Gutierrez, IID senior energy resource planner.
The concrete tower will be three times the height of the Empire State Building. It will be in the middle of a two-mile diameter, circular greenhouse. Solar heat will build up in the greenhouse and travel up the concrete tower, which will be equipped with 32 turbines. They will produce up to 200 megawatts of power.
“Essentially, the tower itself is nothing more than a chimney that gathers the air from the greenhouse, and it brings it in at about 45 feet per second,” Kolk said.
The company that constructed the 160-story Dubai Burj Khalifa skyscraper will construct the La Paz Solar Tower. Kolk also said it would have an observation deck and could withstand an 8.5-magnitude earthquake. He said the tower would generate power for longer periods of time than traditional solar projects because the greenhouse stores heat.
“Generally, solar operates for about six to seven hours per a day,” Kolk said. “This operates about 16 hours a day because of latent heat buildup underneath the greenhouse.”
IID Director Anthony Sanchez said during Tuesday’s meeting that it is important ratepayers note that green energy does come at a price.
“I think what doesn’t get talked about enough, and which I think the public should know, is that this is $95 to $100 per megawatt-hour,” Sanchez said. “Everything the district is moving forward is green energy, and green energy comes at a cost, which means higher rates.”
Kolk said the technology is impressive and he looks forward to seeing the project completed.
“Building something you’ll be able to be on top of above Lake Havasu and almost see El Centro — not quite, but almost — would be a shame not to be a participant in,” Kolk said.
The IID Board of Directors will vote on the SCPPA power sales agreement, entitling IID to a 15-megawatt share, on the consent agenda during next Tuesday’s IID Board of Directors meeting in La Quinta.
Staff Writer David Steffen can be reached at 760-337-3452 or dsteffen@ivpressonline.com

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2010 November 8
Arup hired to engineer 200MW Solar Tower in Arizona
By James Cartledge
http://www.brighterenergy.org/19070/news/solar/arup-hired-to-engineer-200mw-solar-tower-in-arizona/
The Australian company planning on building two 200-megawatt “solar tower” solar thermal power plants in western Arizona has signed Arup to provide engineering services.
London-based Arup has previously engineered some of the world’s most recognizable structures, including the Sydney Opera House, the Pompidou Center and the London Eye.
It also has a background in engineering industrial facilities in sectors including water, energy, waste and mining fields.
The technology being proposed essentially uses solar heat to set up a huge updraft of hot air through a very tall central tower, sometimes known as a ‘solar chimney’.
The solar heat would be collected by a 5,000-acre area of solar thermal panels surrounding the tower, with the system designed to drive air from the edges of the structure toward the center, driving 32 turbines at the base of the tower, before the hot air rises up the tower, drawing in more air behind it.
With the technology trialed in Spain during the 1980s, suggestions are that at the megawatt scale, the central tower would have to be thousands of feet high.
Arup will provide engineering services for the first EnviroMission solar tower in Arizona, a project set to provide electricity for Southern California (see this BrighterEnergy.org story).
“Professional”
EnviroMission’s Chief Executive, Roger Davey, said: “Arup has been engage to provide professional engineering services to deliver site specific Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) for EnviroMission’s 200MW Solar Tower proposed for development in Arizona, that once constructed, will generate electricity for the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) under the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) approved by the SCPPA on October 21, 2010.”
Due diligence work is currently under way regarding the raising of capital for the Solar Tower project.
Arup has already carried out some initial work on the design and performance analysis for the Solar Tower project, under a previous Memorandum of understanding between the two companies.
Arup Principal for Building Services Ken Stickland said the Solar Tower project would be a “unique engineering challenge”, with every material and dimension having a function in the optimization of the facility’s solar energy generation.
Mr Stickland said: “The iconic features of Solar Tower design will deliver new efficiencies in renewable energy that will be achieved without the use of water typically used yet seldom accounted for in the economics of electricity generation.”

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2010 November 5
http://www.getsolar.com/News/Arizona/Solar-Panels/Kilometer-High-Arizona-Solar-Tower-Could-Become-Tallest-Building-Ever-800218574
Kilometer-High Arizona Solar Tower Could Become Tallest Building Ever
By GetSolar Staff , Friday, November 5th 2010
There's thinking big - and then there's EnviroMission's plan for solar power in the Arizona desert. Back in October, the Southern California Public Power Authority - a consortium of public utilities - approved a power purchase agreement with EnviroMission, a renewable energy firm that's pushing the boundaries of solar tech.

EnviroMission's plan, according to Greentech Media, is this: Spend $700 million to build a kilometer-high "solar chimney tower" in the deserts of Arizona, surrounded by a gigantic glass-covered disk over 3 miles across. The baking heat of the Arizona sun would pour down, heating the air - no water or fluids required - which would then soar up the chimney, powering 35 immense turbines.

Easy, right?
It should be abundantly clear that the Solar Tower is a long way in the future - and even its "green" credentials might be in doubt once one considers the massive energy cost of erecting such a structure. But by entering into a PPA with the SCPPA, EnviroMission has taken a first step that allows it to begin planning and trying to get funding for its sky-high ambitions, since it has a definite customer for a plant that could generate as much as 200 megawatts of renewable solar energy without the use of silicon or water.

After all, while the Solar Tower might not be economical now, with oil hovering at about $87 per barrel, that might change if the price of oil starts spiking back up towards its pre-crisis highs.

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2010 November 2
The Tallest Man-Made Structure, or a Load of Hot Air?
BY David Zax Tue Nov 2, 2010
The green power company EnviroMission recently entered into a buying agreement with a Californian utility, but some onlookers are skeptical.
http://www.fastcompany.com/1699562/enviromissions-solar-tower-would-be-the-tallest-man-made-structure
In late October, Southern California Public Power Authority approved a contract to buy green power from EnviroMission Ltd., which for years has been planning to enter the renewable energy game with its wild design for a gargantuan "solar chimney tower" over twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
The tower represents a hybrid of solar and wind technology. The bright surface at the bottom of the artist's rendering is an expansive glass-covered greenhouse that bakes in the sun, heating air that pours into the 1,000-meter-high chimney, churning 35 electricity-generating turbines. One tower could power 100,000 households, claims EnviroMission.
According to EnviroMission the solar tower concept was proven in the 1980s, in a Spanish-German collaboration whose smaller-scale tower yielded 50 kW of power. Starting in 2001, EnviroMission began focusing its attention on Australia, hoping to build its first utility-scale tower there. But in recent years EnviroMission diverted its attention to the U.S. When GreentechMedia spoke to EnviroMission's communications person, she alluded to "less-than-helpful government policy and the sway of vested coal interests." In June 2009, EnviroMission filed for land applications in Arizona.
The project represents an engineering challenge as much as anything else. EnviroMission's CEO says his tower can be built for $700 million. One thousand meters represents what would be the tallest man-made structure in the world, soundly defeating the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai. That kind of talk shouldn't come lightly, and GreentechMedia may well be right to scoff: "What bank or financier takes on this type of project when earth-based (and reality-based) solar projects are available and already challenging enough?"
Despite the agreement from SCPPA, the EnviroMission tower remains in something of a limbo state. The details of the Power Purchasing Agreement are confidential, but it's likely that the utility has only committed to buying a certain amount of energy at a particular kilowatt-hour price--and if EnviroMission doesn't meet it, then the utility wouldn't have to buy. Still, asserts Davey in a press release, the agreement "is an important milestone that will allow finance to be secured." It's working on front-end engineering and design now.
In other words, astronauts at the International Space Station shouldn't expect to see this behemoth (which ultimately would be visible from space) out their window anytime soon. The recent agreement, you might say, enables plans to finally be planned.
Still, one can dream--and animate: Download a video for a look inside a digital version of the tower here.

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2010 November 1
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/enviromission-continues-to-live-the-solar-dream/
Eric Wesoff: November 1, 2010
EnviroMission Continues to Live the Solar Chimney Dream

Mega-hot-air power-tower gets a power purchase agreement approved by Southern California Public Power Authority.

(also on http://www.solarfeeds.com/greentech-media/14928-enviromissions-solar-chimney-dream and Putting a Price on Green http://www.solarfeeds.com/justmeans/14929-putting-a-price-on-green )

EnviroMission (EVM:ASX; Pink Sheets: EVOMY) has been in the renewable energy business since 2001, but has not produced any energy. The publicly traded Australian penny-stock firm has provided work, however, for scores of animators and artists who render. These artists have been busy illustrating the potential of the EnviroMission power tower concept. Here's a link to one of the firm's animations http://www.enviromission.com.au/irm/content/images/videos/ SolarTower_Animation_Metric.wmv

The news is that Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA ) has approved a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with EnviroMission Limited to purchase power from EnviroMission's Solar Tower power station development planned for Arizona.
The "solar chimney" is a straightforward idea. A massive tower funnels hot air driven upwards by a temperature differential and spins turbines at the base of the tower to create electricity.
It's been demonstrated at a small 50-kilowatt scale in Manzaneres, Spain. But to make it a reality at utility scale, the tower needs to be 800 meters to 1,000 meters high (as a reference point, the Empire State Building is 373 meters high) and constructed of reinforced concrete or some other durable material. The collector base -- in effect, the real estate around the tower -- needs to be miles in diameter. Enviromission itself described a proposed project in Australia stretching 1,000 meters high, 130 meters in diameter and with a 5-kilometer diameter collection area. As with all projects of this size, there is a considerable amount of embedded energy in the infrastructure itself.
David Gelbaum's Quercus Trust was an investor in 2007 as per this SEC document http://www.secinfo.com/dV3p8.u2sr.f.htm .

After years of attempting to get this eighth wonder of the world financed and built in Australia, EnviroMission shifted its attention to the American Southwest and established a U.S. entity in 2009.
I spoke with Kim Forte, General Manager, Communications of EnviroMission Limited and she attributed the firm's difficulties in Australia to less-than-helpful government policy and the sway of vested coal interests.

In June 2009, EnviroMission filed two land applications in the U.S. for two prospective 200-megawatt solar tower developments in Arizona. EnviroMission's Chief Executive, Roger Davey, claims that the 200-megawatt unit can be built for $700 million. Mr. Davey's annual compensation at this non-revenue generating company is $336,104, and Ms. Forte's is $209,161, according to this Reuters data http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/officerProfile?symbol=EVOMY.PK&officerId=345778 .
The company is now celebrating a milestone: convincing SCPPA to agree to approve a PPA for power from the EnvironMission project. SCPPA is a California joint power authority made up of eleven municipal utilities and one irrigation district. Its members deliver electricity to approximately two million metered accounts over 7,000 square miles to a population of nearly five million people. EnviroMission is working with engineering firms to do the front-end engineering work.
This kind of PPA makes for exciting press releases, provides hope and maybe a stock bump for the company and some green PR for the utility. But the utility has little risk. EnvironMission did not provide the terms of the PPA but we can assume that EnviroMission must provide X megawatts at a specific kilowatt-hour price, and if the company doesn't build it or meet the price -- the utility doesn't buy it. An example would be PG&E's PPA with space-based solarnaut Solaren or even the three-megawatt PG&E PPA with CPV aspirant GreenVolts. PG&E had even larger PPAs with Optisolar and Ausra with more conventional solar technologies, but when circumstances changed, First Solar came in, and swapped out the original technology for proven photovoltaic technology.
The project would face significant challenges in the permitting process in California because of the environmental impact of the canopy's expanse and a number of other factors such as visual impact. The Air Force and the FAA might have issues with the height of the structure, as well.
Forte wrote in an email, "Whilst details of the PPA are at this moment in confidence, it is fair to assume that the basis of the PPA provides an arrangement for the purchase of economic stable green electricity from EnviroMission that will also meet commercial criteria for EnviroMission; anything less would not justify either party entering into an agreement."
The scale and simplicity of this design are inspiring. But, how does a project developer deliver a project book for a kilometer-high solar tower or an orbiting space-based solar station to a financier? What bank or financier takes on this type of project when earth-based (and reality-based) solar projects are available and already challenging enough?

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2010 October 29
From the Phoenix Business Journal:
http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/print-edition/2010/10/29/enviromission-reaches-power-deal.html
EnviroMission reaches 2,400-ft. solar tower deal
Premium content from Phoenix Business Journal
Date: Friday, October 29, 2010, 3:00am MST
EnviroMission Inc. has finalized a deal for a utility to buy power from a 2,400-foot-tall solar tower the company plans to build in western Arizona by 2014.
The deal with the Southern California Public Power Authority was approved Oct. 21, but EnviroMission still must gain Arizona Corporation Commission approval, meet local permitting requirements and secure financing to build the 200-megawatt plant, said EnviroMission President Chris Davey.
“All those development steps need to be done to move forward,” he said.
The project, to be built between the towns of Parker and Quartzsite in La Paz County, will be equivalent to a 240-story building. SCPPA’s approval provided something other large-scale solar providers have been lacking in recent months: a contract to sell their power to utilities.
Many utilities, including Arizona Public Service Co. and Salt River Project, have been shifting away from large concentrated solar projects and focusing instead on smaller photovoltaic projects.
EnviroMission, the U.S. subsidiary of Australia-based EnviroMission Ltd., had been selected as the top project in submissions to SCPPA, a joint operation of 11 municipal utilities with more than 2 million customers. In finalizing the deal, SCPPA Executive Director Bill Carnahan said the technology would allow the authority to buy power at competitive rates without using water — a plus in the solar industry.
The solar tower concept differs from other concentrated solar projects. A massive tower is surrounded by a huge greenhouse that traps air heated by the sun. That air is funneled up the tower at 35 mph past 32 wind turbines at its base, which generate the electricity.
EnviroMission now must wrap up work on financing, engineering and environmental studies required for projects on federal and state lands. The company already has started on those fronts and plans to bring in someone to finalize financing in the next 30 days as it starts lining up contractors, Davey said.
“From an execution perspective, it’s really about delivering the power within the period we’ve agreed,” he said.
The company also is finalizing the tower’s cost, but Davey believes it will be lower than traditional solar plants. An early estimate of about $3 per watt, or $700 million total, still is possible. A comparable concentrated solar power plant would cost $1 billion or more. Davey said the company won’t know final figures until engineering and design are complete.
The tower concept has drawn interest in Arizona because it doesn’t use water. CSP power plants have been under scrutiny for their heavy use of water, which can be the greatest of all sources of power generation.
“The technology used by this 200-megawatt project is truly innovative as it uses no water, just hot air, to drive turbines,” said Paul Newman, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. “The capacity factor is higher than solar PV and, if the project works as expected, could be just the kind of technology Arizona can benefit from.”
The water issue was front and center last week when the commission approved a certification of environmental compatibility and grid connections for the Hualapai Valley Solar LLC project in Kingman. Although approved, it came with challenges to use treated sewage water instead of groundwater. It also must use a technology called dry cooling that limits water use in power production, but also lowers overall power production capability.
ACC Chairwoman Kris Mayes said water is an issue for all power producers, not just solar.
“I think it’s pretty clear that large-scale utility projects moving forward should be dry-cooled and not using water,” she said.
There are potential exceptions, Mayes said. For example, when agricultural land is adapted for solar uses, power plants would use less water than crops.

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2010 October 26
EnviroMission solar power purchase approved in Southern California
http://www.pennenergy.com/index/power/display/6406612656/articles/electric-light-power/renewable-energy/solar/2010/10/EnviroMission_solar_power_purchase_OK_d_in_Southern_California.html
Melbourne, Australia, October 26, 2010 — Southern California Public Power Authority has approved a power purchase agreement with EnviroMission Limited to purchase green power from EnviroMission's Solar Tower power station development planned for Arizona.
The agreement will allow project finance to be secured for Solar Tower power station development and the front-end engineering and design necessary to break ground at the earmarked Arizona site to commence.
SCPPA Executive Director, Bill Carnahan said "SCPPA is excited to support a large scale solar technology that when successfully deployed could change the renewable energy landscape. The pricing and load profile of the Solar Tower coupled with its zero water power production cycle makes it a compelling alternative."
Solar Tower technology uses solar radiation to heat air to drive turbines to generate clean green electricity.
Renewable energy to be sold under the PPA will provide SCPPA with a green alternative competitive with fossil fuel generators once the expected cost of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions is also included.
A 200 MW Solar Tower power station is expected to annually offset more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gases typically produced by fossil fuel generators of the same scale.
The cost and availability of water in electricity generation is a growing area of concern to the energy sector that will be mitigated with Solar Tower zero water use technology that will stand apart from fossil fuel and renewable energy generators that consume billions of gallons of potable water annually in electricity generation.
Solar Tower development appeals to SCPPA participants as energy production that can be delivered into the SCPPA transmission network for steady and predictable supply output to coincide with the SCPPA participants daily load requirements.

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2010 October 26
EnviroMission Power Purchase Agreement Approved by Southern California Public Power Authority
PR Newswire
MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA ) has approved a landmark Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with EnviroMission Limited (EVM:ASX; Pink Sheets: EVOMY) to purchase green power from EnviroMission's Solar Tower power station development planned for Arizona.
EnviroMission Chief Executive, Roger Davey, said "Finalization of this PPA with SCPPA is an important milestone that will allow project finance to be secured for Solar Tower power station development and the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) necessary to break ground at the earmarked Arizona site to commence."
SCPPA Executive Director, Bill Carnahan said "SCPPA is excited to support a large scale solar technology that when successfully deployed could change the renewable energy landscape. The pricing and load profile of the Solar Tower coupled with its zero water power production cycle makes it a compelling alternative."
Solar Tower technology uses solar radiation to heat air to drive turbines to generate clean green electricity.
Renewable energy to be sold under the PPA will provide SCPPA with a green alternative competitive with fossil fuel generators once the expected cost of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions is also included. A 200MW Solar Tower power station is expected to annually offset more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gases typically produced by fossil fuel generators of the same scale.
The cost and availability of water in electricity generation is a growing area of concern to the energy sector that will be mitigated with Solar Tower zero water use technology that will stand apart from fossil fuel and renewable energy generators that consume billions of gallons of potable water annually in electricity generation.
Solar Tower development appeals to SCPPA participants as energy production that can be delivered into the SCPPA transmission network for steady and predictable supply output to coincide with the SCPPA participants daily load requirements. Solar Tower power station generation characteristics will cost effectively enable SCPPA participants to manage their allocation of power from a Solar Tower power station.
SCPPA approval of this PPA follows rigorous review undertaken by SCPPA as a result of its pursuit of viable renewable energy supplies for its constituents through power purchase agreements with leading energy technology innovations such as the Solar Tower.
SCPPA is a California joint power authority consisting of eleven municipal utilities and one irrigation district. Its members deliver electricity to approximately two million metered accounts over 7,000 square miles to a population of nearly five million people.
"It's electrifying that SCPPA will be the first to purchase power from the world's first Solar Tower power station!" Mr. Davey said.
SOURCE EnviroMission Limited

Read more: EnviroMission Power Purchase Agreement Approved by Southern California Public Power Authority http://www2.bizjournals.com/birmingham/prnewswire/press_releases/ national/California/2010/10/26/LA88576#ixzz15Yq1CV1n

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2010 October 26
Tower of strength
http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/cleantech-buzz-any-way-wind-blows

Melbourne-based solar group EnviroMission announced yesterday that the Power Purchase Agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) to purchase green power from the first proposed EnviroMission Arizona Solar Tower power station had been approved at the SCPPA board meeting last week. This is welcome news for the company that bills itself as the sole developer and promoter of Solar Tower technology in Australia (actually, it says it owns the global license to Solar Tower technology, "excluding China".) Since listing on the ASX in August 2001, it hasn't exactly lit up the market – although the company's share price experienced a 67 per cent gain in anticipation of the PPA news last Friday.
EnviroMission's Solar Tower technology uses the sun's radiation to heat a large body of air under an expansive collector zone, which then rises as a hot wind through large turbines in a 'solar chimney' structure to generate electricity. According to EnviroMission's website, a Solar Tower power station would create the conditions to cause hot wind to flow continuously through 32 x 6.25MW pressure staged turbines to generate electricity. It says the technology has been tested and proven with a successful small-scale pilot plant in Manzanares Spain – a collaborative effort between the Spanish government and the German designers, Schlaich Bergermann and Partner. According to EnviroMission's website, the test plant operated for seven years between 1982 and 1989, and consistently generated 50kW output.
Solar Tower energy generation doesn't require the use of water, which puts it at a distinct advantage to other renewable and traditional coal & nuclear energy producers. "The Solar Tower project earmarked for Arizona will abate the approximate usage of 528 million gallons of potable water (drinking water) per annum," says the company. The facility is also expected to offset more than one million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. Roger Davey, EnviroMission CEO, called the finalisation of the PPA "an important milestone that will allow finance to be secured and Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) that is required to break ground at the site earmarked in Arizona."

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2010 August 26
http://solarlednews.com/?p=739
Concept solar tower uses solar heat to generate 200MW of power
Posted on August 26, 2010 by solarman

Eco Factor: Concept electricity generating tower utilizes solar energy. From ecofriend.org
Charlwood Design has conceptualized an energy-generating tower for Enviromission Limited. Christened the Solar Tower, the development will be showcased as a solar thermal power station at the Smithsonian Institute Design Triennial Exhibition in New York.

The tower operates by collecting solar radiation to heat a large quantity of air under a glass collection area. Acting like a giant greenhouse the glass covered area heats air, which is then used to generate electricity. Hot air then escapes out of the tower’s central chimney. The designers estimate that a single 200MW solar tower will be able to power about 500,000 homes with renewable energy.

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Meteorological Reactors
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