The US solar energy provider Congenra has made an impressive leap toward a new direction in its field, boasting its services and flipping the switch on a defiant capital project.
In this regard, Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has attended the Congenra’s presentation of what appears to be the first commercial-scale solar energy plant, which took place in California. The plant, designed to provide renewable energy, combines both solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies in the one system.
The new “cogeneration” solar plant will supply 272 kW hour of electricity to The Sonoma Wine Company facility in the Napa Valley.
The design of the new plant is based on solar thermal concept – large mirrors “capture” the sunlight and directs it onto photovoltaic solar panels and subsequently convert it into electricity. Additionally, Congenra’s design also collects heat and use it for boiling water, similar to standard solar hot water systems.
The CEO, Dr. Gilad Almogy, stated that, by combining the two technologies, “our solution produces five times more energy and three times the greenhouse gas reductions over traditional solar offerings. This is a very significant milestone for Cogenra as we bring our first project online in California’s wine country and toast to a bright future with solar cogeneration. [This] technology merges the best photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies to meet two valuable industrial needs, low cost heat and electricity.”
Cogenra is a startup project of capitalist Vinod Khosla of cleantech firm Khosla Ventures, whose chief environmental advisor is Tony Blair.
“Technological innovation is the key to mitigating climate change; though clean technologies must make economic sense. Because Cogenra has achieved a cost-effective approach, the environmental benefits of solar cogeneration have the potential for true global impact,” said Mr. Blair.