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Solana Generating Station

As one of the world’s largest solar thermal power plants, the Solana Generating Station provides clean, reliable energy.
  • Solana Generating Station at sunset-Gannett Fleming

    The station provides an alternative solution to today’s energy challenges.

  • Night view of the parabolic troughs, which are large, curved mirrors that sit on a motorized base—Gannett Fleming

    The station has the ability to continue to produce power for six hours past sunset.

  • The large, curved mirrors track the movement of the sun throughout the day—Gannett Fleming

    A parabolic trough is a large, curved mirror that tracks the movement of the sun. 

Confidential Client

Gila Bend, Arizona

Our Role
Planning, Design, Permitting, Inspections, Geotechnical, Drainage Analysis, Structural, Civil.

Station covering 1,920 acres
New Construction
6 years
  • One of the world’s largest solar thermal power plants
  • Features thermal storage equipped parabolic trough technology 
  • Created more than 2,000 new jobs.

One of the largest operational Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) parabolic trough plants in the world started producing electricity in Arizona during October 2013. With an increasing demand for electricity in the West, the plant provides a clean, reliable, and affordable supply of electricity to sustain the economy in an environmentally responsible manner. 

The facility’s parabolic troughs track the movement of the sun throughout the day, ultimately gathering sunlight energy. At the point where all sunlight is concentrated from the mirrors, a receiver tube filled with synthetic heat transfer fluid (HTF) reaches about 750 degrees Fahrenheit. This HTF is then pumped to a power block, where the heat creates high pressure steam, which in turn powers a conventional steam turbine, creating energy and electricity. One unique feature of the facility is its ability to continue to output power for six hours past sunset; this allows the provision of natural energy well into the night. 

What We Did

Gannett Fleming provided survey, mapping, American Land Title Association plans, and geotechnical investigations for land development at the project site. Work included preparation of special use permit, aquifer protection permit documentation, offsite/onsite drainage analyses/designs, water/wastewater facilities, roadway improvements, and structural design for the mirror fields, power island, evaporation ponds, and administration facilities. Gannett Fleming also provided 404 permitting and civil design plans for the 18 mile transmission line and towers–an extension of the Solana Generating Station.

Key Features

  • Features CSP parabolic trough technology with the additional provision of thermal storage tanks
  • Ability to generate energy for six hours past sunset, allowing the provision of natural energy well into the night.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Has the energy capacity to power approximately 70,000 homes and prevent the emission of more than 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually
  • Provides a clean, reliable, and cost-effective supply of electricity to sustain the economy.

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