Welcome to OneSun – the newsletter of BrightSource Energy – published periodically to keep you abreast of the latest developments in solar energy generally and concentrating solar power (CSP) specifically.
In the Hot Seat: Mathew Brett sheds "light" on global solar markets
Mathew Brett has come aboard as Senior Vice President of International Development, bringing with him 20 years of international energy industry and project financing experience.
Previously, Mathew served as Chief Executive Officer, Europe of Advanced Power AG, a leading international developer of independent power generation projects. He has also directed investment and portfolio management for InterGen, where he led business development projects in Europe, including the development and sale of the Knapsack Power Project, Germany’s first large-scale, gas-fired power project, as well as Sidi Krir Power, the first independent power project in Egypt.
Recently, Mathew sat down with us for the New SVP Question & Answer Session.
What drew you to BrightSource?
I have followed the changes in the energy industry and the move toward renewables throughout my career. Of all the technologies I have looked at, I believe solar thermal, and BrightSource’s technology in particular, can deliver what markets need, which is reliable, clean power at a scale that is meaningful. I am extremely excited to join BrightSource’s world-class team to be a part of this change and to further extend the company’s leadership internationally.
What were you doing prior to BrightSource?
A significant part of my career has been developing gas-fired generation in Europe and the Middle East, including founding a development company, Advanced Power AG, with Siemens as a partner. Most recently, I created a European investment strategy for a Middle Eastern power and investment company.
What common challenges do companies face when selling to international markets?
I have always found it is important to approach markets individually and leverage local expertise as much as possible because each market has its own particular barriers to entry. Often, the challenges you run into are associated with areas you would not have predicted and new ones present themselves as you journey through the development.
Of the international markets that we are pursuing, which are you most excited about?
Each market we are pursuing – South Africa, the Middle East, China, India and Australia – is compelling in its own right. China is particularly interesting because of its expected growth, scale and unique challenges. I look forward to working with the team to build on their great work done to date and further develop market appropriate entry strategies for these regions.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Reading, watching films and travelling with the kids to new cities or countries.
Project Update: Ivanpah workforce passes 2,000
Significant progress occurred in late spring at Ivanpah, on schedule to assume its place as the world’s largest concentrating solar power plant.
Now 40% complete thanks to the hard work of a workforce 2000 strong, construction at Ivanpah has reached its peak. Boiler sections are being lifted into place, power plant equipment installed in the power block and pylons driven into the fields. In the Common Area, the Pad Bond Buildings (PBBs) and the Heliostat Assembly Building (HAB) have reached full capacity, manufacturing an average of 1000 individual mirrors and 500 assembled heliostats each day.
At Unit 1, boilermakers are welding together the solar-boiler system, while construction of the water-saving air-cooled condenser continues on the ground. Unit 2 has joined Unit 1 as officially “topped out,” reaching its full height of 459 feet and more than 35,000 pylons are installed. Over at Unit 3, the steel portion of the tower is complete and the first boiler module in place.
We have more details on the dynamo that is Ivanpah progress.
CEO John Woolard and SVP Joe Desmond present at the Department of Energy SunShot Grand Challenge
In June, CEO John Woolard and Senior Vice President Joe Desmond delivered two presentations at the Department of Energy’s SunShot Grand Challenge in Denver, the first in a series of Energy Department Grand Challenges that address the scientific, technological, and market barriers to achieving breakthroughs in national energy challenges. CEO John Woolard gave a compelling presentation about the potential for solar to help address the world's carbon challenge (View it here) and Desmond discussed the value of CSP and energy storage for utility customers (View it here).
Racking up those Frequent Flyer Miles: Company experts speak in Beijing, London, Johannesburg, and Vegas
BrightSource experts continue to fan out across the globe, spreading the good news about concentrating solar power.
Beijing: Arnold Goldman, Chairman Emeritus and Founder of BrightSource Energy, keynoted and presented the company’s technology at the World CSP Asia Forum 2012. The conference addressed key challenges being faced by the CSP industry and strategies to address them. Global partner Alstom also presented at the conference and highlighted our projects.
London: Yasser Dib, Vice President, International Development, provided a case study on developing effective solar enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) solutions at the World National Oil Companies Congress. Yasser shared the company's experience developing the Chevron solar-to-steam project in Coalinga, CA, and addressed how solar technology can help displace gas resources.
Johannesburg: Business Development Consultant Daniel Schwab discussed the value of CSP on a panel at the Second Annual Solar South Africa conference in Johannesburg. The panel highlighted CSP’s unique ability to store energy until it’s needed by utilities and industrial companies. It also looked at investment opportunities, infrastructure needs and what the government is doing to support solar technologies. For more on our presence at Solar South Africa, including a video interview with Daniel Schwab, click here.
Vegas: At CSP Today USA 2012, we nearly took over the podium as Keely Wachs, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Michael Bobinecz, Ivanpah’s Project Director and VP of BrightSource Construction Management, and Yasser Dib, VP International Development engaged audiences on an array of timely issues. Presentations ranged from a deconstruction of the myths surrounding CSP to a discussion of the supply chain from the Ivanpah Project Development team. Our partners Alstom and Bechtel joined us to participate in a panel discussion on tower technology and Ivanpah, respectively. The company was also nominated for the CSP Responsible Business and Industry Choice awards.
Heard on the Radio: How we conserve H2O with dry cooling
Senior Vice President Joe Desmond was recently interviewed as part of KQED’s Climate Watch series about the comparative benefits of our dry-cooling technology. Hear it here.
Want to know more about our commitment to reducing water use? Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about dry-cooling here.
Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Illustration by Andy Warner.