October 2011

Abengoa Today

Abengoa commences construction of Mojave Solar 
The company closes more than $1,200 M financing for the 280 MW project 

On September 14, Abengoa announced closure of over $1,200 M financing for construction of the Mojave Solar Project. This solar thermal power plant will utilize proprietary parabolic trough technology that will increase the plant’s efficiency and lower generation costs. 

With a total investment of around $1,600 M, the 280 MW Mojave Solar Project will create more than 900 jobs during construction and operation and about 1,000 direct and indirect service and manufacturing jobs throughout the supply chain that will span the country. Construction has already begun and the Mojave Solar Project is scheduled to come online in 2014.  

The Mojave Solar Project demonstrates America’s commitment to develop an American-made solar industry which will enable the development of new energy generation projects using local resources, thereby facilitating greater energy independence, highly-skilled jobs and significant economic development in the currently weak manufacturing sector.  

The United States Department of Energy (DOE), through the Loan Programs Office, has issued the loan guarantee to support this project. Abengoa, on the other hand, has signed a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (AMEX: PCG-PE), one of America’s largest electric utilities, to buy the energy produced by the Mojave Solar Project for a period of 25 years. The power purchase agreement is pending approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
The plant will be located some 160 km northeast of Los Angeles, near Barstow, California. The Mojave Solar Project will produce enough energy to serve more than 54,000 households and will prevent the emission of more than 350,000 t of CO2 per year when compared to a natural gas burning power plant. 

The construction and operation of the Mojave Solar Project will bring many economic and environmental benefits to California and will contribute to achievement of the goal of 33 % electricity production from renewable energy sources. Abengoa estimates that more than 80 % of the equipment and supplies required to construct the Mojave Solar Project will be manufactured in the United States, including electric equipment, high-precision mirrors and other construction materials. 

Abengoa obtains the federal guarantee for the Hugoton plant 
The United States Department of Energy approves a $133.9 M guarantee for the biomass plant 

Abengoa has obtained preliminary approval of a $133.9 M federal guarantee from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for construction of the first commercial scale plant that will produce second generation ethanol from biomass, the most abundant organic feedstock on earth.

Upon successful satisfaction of the conditions precedent and approval of the loan guarantee, the DOE will issue the guarantee through the Federal Bank for the amount ultimately approved. Following this preliminary approval, Abengoa has now announced its intention to start construction of the plant near Hugoton, in Stephens County, Kansas. 

Abengoa has been working on enzymatic hydrolysis technology for more than ten years, and on this specific project, for five. “For the Hugoton project, we have developed and perfected our proprietary technology at the pilot plants in York, Nebraska (US) and Babilafuente, Salamanca (Spain). Therefore, we are highly pleased with this approval which represents recognition of the work done by our R&D Division, which will allow us to construct one of the first commercial scale plants to produce ethanol from biomass”, said Manuel Sanchez Ortega, CEO of Abengoa.

In 2003, the Department of Energy demonstrated its support of the work done up to that time by Abengoa in pursuit of new technologies for biofuel production. This body subsequently backed the construction of Abengoa’s pilot plant in York, Nebraska, under the framework of its Biofuels Program, for which it awarded a $34 M subsidy. In 2007, the DOE and Abengoa entered into a $100 M cooperative agreement for the design and construction of the Hugoton facility, as one of the six facilities the DOE selected for its framework program.  

“After having demonstrated the commercial viability of our enzymatic hydrolysis technology in the pilot plants, we can now incorporate it as an addition in other plants to produce ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. The new biomass plant will pave the way for more efficient and environmentally friendly second generation biofuels that will allow the United States to set out towards a more sustainable future with a much higher degree of energy independence”, said Javier Salgado, President and CEO of Abengoa Bioenergy.  

“Moreover, this project will bring significant economic benefits to the region and Kansas State, such as the creation of around 300 new jobs during construction and another 65 during plant operation, representing annual earnings in excess of $4.5 M. The annual production capacity of the plant is approximately 100 ML of bioethanol from corn stalk and switch grass, and it will also produce enough energy to cover the plant’s own electric power needs”, added Javier Salgado.

Abengoa compensated the World Youth Day 2011 emissions
During the event, Abengoa developed various sustainable activities to ensure that it was a ‘zero emissions’ event

Abengoa collaborated in World Youth Day, Madrid 2011 (WYD 2011) compensating the CO2 generated by the event.

WYD 2011 was a large meeting of young people from all over the world gathered around the Pope. Moreover, it was a sustainable event, respecting the environment: the program’s “100 % natural” framework included “zero emissions” as well as all the sustainable activities planned for the program, highlighting its commitment to it being a pollution-free event.

Direct greenhouse gases are inevitable during events that last several days, and Abengoa calculated and compensated those generated from WYD 2011 using voluntary carbon credits.

Carbon credits are an instrument included in the Kyoto protocol that are generated on sustainable projects, which would not be possible without the financial aid involved in purchasing them. For WYD 2011, carbon credits were bought in five projects, one on each continent: a wind farm in New Caledonia, a small hydro in Honduras, a reforestation project in Uganda, and two methane recovery projects in China and Turkey.

Furthermore, Abengoa developed a carpooling tool so that young people who had a space in their car or bus could contact others looking for a way to get to the event. The website (carpooling.madrid11.com) was aimed at young people from Europe and was available in Spanish and English, offering the options ‘I am looking for transport’ or ‘I am offering transport’.

Furthermore, Abengoa installed interactive stands in the marquees on sustainable mobility, where the attendees could find bicycles, information on WYD 2011 and Madrid’s transport network, and good environmental practice guidelines, based on advice and ideas that young people could use during their stay in the Spanish capital.

Green Jobs
By 2030, renewables could  be providing employment to almost seven million people

Ample evidence and a multitude of analyses show that “green industries”, including renewable energy production, have the capacity to boost economic recovery, while contributing at the same time to solving the problems of fossil energy depletion and climate change. Given the economic and social need entailed, job creation is one of the biggest concerns for governments, public administration, and citizens alike. In this sense, creating millions of green jobs will not only help to protect the environment, but will also offer meaningful work to those who are out of a job, promoting social welfare and justice and favoring a balanced distribution of wealth.

A representative fact: the renewable energy sector, which accounts for less than five percent of global primary energy production, today employs the same number of people as the entire oil and gas industry worldwide. According to the “Working for the Climate” report, the renewable energy industry has the potential to provide employment for nearly seven million people by 2030, creating three new green positions for each of today’s fossillinked jobs.

In order to make the most of the tremendous opportunity renewable energies afford, governments of both developed and developing countries need to implement policies aimed at achieving innovative progress and training in all renewable energy-related areas. Deeply engaged policy and practice can help turn this sector into a major source of employment, enabling us to overcome the present economic situation and definitively set third-world economies in motion.

Given the growth in population over the last fifty years, the critical environmental situation, and existing social awareness, it is safe to say that the world we live in today is very different from that of our parents. We have an opportunity and we have the technology, and now we need the vision and courage to take decisive action today to transform our energy model in order to ensure that our children and grandchildren may fully enjoy the world we leave behind.

© 2011 Abengoa. All rights reserved