Ausra to build solar-thermal manufacturing plant in Vegas |

Ausra to build solar-thermal manufacturing plant in Vegas

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – Ausra Inc. announced plans Thursday for a Las Vegas manufacturing plant for solar-thermal power systems – and said the 130,000-square-foot plant should be operating by April.

“Ausra can fill four square miles with solar collectors every year from this one factory, enough to provide market-priced, zero-pollution power to 500,000 homes,” said Bob Fishman, Ausra president and CEO.

John O’Donnell of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Ausra, said the plant is the first of its kind in the country and will use highly automated, robotic equipment to produce components for solar-thermal systems. Cost of the plant wasn’t disclosed.

O’Donnell said Ausra will produce solar-thermal components for a 177-megawatt project being built in California, and hopes to market its products to other solar projects and manufacture equipment for its own solar power plant.

Ausra and San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in November announced a power-purchase agreement for the 177-megawatt plant.

O’Donnell said in September that Ausra is committed to development of solar-thermal plants in the West, including Nevada, capable of generating 1,000 megawatts of power. He also said the Las Vegas location for the manufacturing plant would save on transportation costs and reduce the potential for damage during shipping.

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