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Sierra SunTower

This page provides information on Sierra SunTower, a concentrating solar power (CSP) project. eSolar, a world leader in CSP technology in tower configuration, built, owns, and operates the only operating solar thermal power plant using tower technology in the United States. Located in Lancaster, California, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles, this tower system has been producing electricity since July 2009, which is being sold to Southern California Edison under a power purchase agreement.

Status Date: April 26, 2018
Project Overview
Project Name: Sierra SunTower (Sierra)
Country: United States
Location: Lancaster, California
Owner(s): eSolar (100%)
Technology: Power tower
Turbine Capacity: Net: 5.0 MW Gross: 5.0 MW
Status: Currently Non-Operational
Start Year: 2009

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Technology: Power tower
Status: Currently Non-Operational
Country: United States
City: Lancaster
State: California
County: Los Angeles
Lat/Long Location: 34°43′ 53.0″ North, 118°8′ 19.0″ West
Solar Resource: 2,629 kWh/m2/yr
Source of Solar Resource: NREL SUNY TDY data
Contact(s): Robert Rogan
Company: eSolar
Key References: Web site
Break Ground: July 2008
Start Production: July 2009
Construction Job-Years: 130
Annual O&M Jobs: 12
PPA/Tariff Date: January 1, 2010
Incentives: Expected 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC, 5-year MACRS)


Developer(s): eSolar
Owner(s) (%): eSolar (100%)
Operator(s): eSolar
Generation Offtaker(s): Southern California Edison

Plant Configuration

Solar Field

Heliostat Solar-Field Aperture Area: 27,670 m²
# of Heliostats: 24,360
Heliostat Aperture Area: 1.136 m²
Heliostat Manufacturer: eSolar
Tower Height: 55 m
Receiver Manufacturer: Babcock & Wilcox
Receiver Type: External
Receiver Manufacturer: Victory Energy
Receiver Type: Dual-cavity receiver & tubular external receiver
Heat-Transfer Fluid Type: Water
Receiver Inlet Temp: 218C
Receiver Outlet Temp: 440C
Receiver Temp. Difference: 222C

Power Block

Turbine Capacity (Gross): 5.0 MW
Turbine Capacity (Net): 5.0 MW
Output Type: Steam Rankine
Cooling Method: Wet cooling
Cooling Method Description: Cooling towers

Thermal Storage

Storage Type: None