Abengoa, an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, announced that construction is ramping up on the 280 MW (gross) CSP Mojave Solar Project, located in San Bernardino County. The Mojave Solar Project brings economic stimulus to California and specifically the High Desert region, creating more than 900 construction and permanent operations jobs. After just a short time in construction, 81 workers are already on-site. In addition, it is expected that over a thousand direct and indirect jobs will be created and/or preserved across America through the many service and manufacturing industries necessary to construct the Mojave Solar Project. After just two months of construction, the Mojave Solar Project has 24 contracts signed with 19 suppliers in six states. More than 80 % of the equipment, supplies and services required to build the Mojave Solar Project will be of U.S. origin, strengthening the American manufacturing and service industries that will increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and allow for international export.
Ram Jack Solar Solutions, the company that installs the solar foundations for the Mojave Solar Project and Solana, has increased its operations and the number of employees by more than 50 %, adding more shifts and purchasing new forklifts and machine tools to get the work done under the two Abengoa contracts. According to General Manager Ivan Matthews, “A daily steady stream of out-of-work people began to come into the Ram Jack offices and were able to find work at Ram Jack”.
Nathan Ritter, Project Manager for Sukut Construction noted, “the recent economic slowdown has impacted our business and ability to keep our employees working. The Mojave Solar project will increase our business by about 15 % for the 2012 fiscal year. During the project thus far, we have employed about 30 field construction professionals. In the last four years, many of our employees have been on the out-of-work list or have only been working sporadically. We are extremely pleased to see large alternative energy projects breaking ground. We need these types of projects to keep our employees working during this difficult construction slowdown”.
The Mojave Solar Project is one of the few utility-scale solar projects to be fully permitted and financed. The project is backed by labor unions, many government officials and national environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife. The Mojave Solar Project is expected to come online in 2014, generating enough electricity to power about 54,000 average households, and preventing 350,000 tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere each year. The Mojave Solar Project contributes to California´s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard, calling for all retail energy sellers to use 33% renewable energy by 2020. The solar thermal power project diversifies California’s renewable energy source portfolio. CSP is a mature technology and the thermal inertia inherent in the Abengoa design will allow the plant to produce electricity reliably and predictably over the course of the day. This is a valuable attribute that will complement intermittent renewable energy technologies such as PV and wind.