A newly created company called SolarReserve intends to commercialize a solar power plant capable of generating electricity and storing it in molten salt. The venture was created by investment firm US Renewables Group, which has licensed technology from Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies. A plant will be capable of generating 500 megawatts of peak power, the size of a typical power plant.
SolarReserve’s technology will use a tower with a holding tank of molten salt. An array of mirrors will reflect light onto the tank. The heated liquid is then pumped into a steam generator that will turn a turbine to make electricity. The technology is expected to be available within three or four years. A representative said the company expects to realize revenue of more than $1 billion in the next 10 years.