NTR plc To Invest $100 Million In Solar Firm Stirling Energy Systems

April 22, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Stirling Energy Systems, Inc. (SES), a Phoenix-based developer of utility-scale solar powered electricity generation plants, announced that NTR plc, an international developer and operator in renewable energy and sustainable waste management, will invest $100 million and take a controlling interest in the company.

SES is developing what is described as two of the world’s largest solar generating projects in the Imperial Valley and Mojave Desert to supply renewable power to Southern California.

SES is the innovator of a concentrating solar energy technology called the SunCatcher. The SunCatcher combines a mirrored concentrator dish with a Stirling engine specially designed to convert reflected sunlight to electricity. The technology has been in testing for several years at the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

SES has long term, Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) with two of California’s leading utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE). Combined, the two projects will initially produce 800MW of power and up to 1,750MW with contract extensions when the plants are fully constructed.

"This is a very exciting investment for NTR," said Jim Barry, Chief Executive of NTR plc. "In SES, we have a partner with high growth potential and a leading cost position in the fast growing concentrating solar power sector. We are pleased that the first two projects are in California which has provided the leadership to make solar energy investments attractive."

"SES is now poised to move to the next stage in its commercialisation plan," said SES President and Chief Executive Bruce Osborn. "The investment by NTR will give SES access to the development, commercial and financial expertise and resources required to commercialize the SunCatcher and build out our solar projects. NTR’s experience and proven commercial track record in the renewables sector make it an ideal partner for SES."