Features & Highlights
- First large-scale solar plant utilizing molten salt thermal energy storage in the U.S.
- Self-performed multiple foundation packages including concrete construction for cooling towers, substations, salt tank structures, and misc. site structures
- Self-performed various heavy civil and mechanical scopes of work on the project
Sundt completed several components of this $2 billion, 280-megawatt solar plant for the Spanish company Abengoa Solar. Solana Generating Station, one of the largest solar generating stations in the world, was the first large-scale solar project in the U.S., capable of storing the power it generates so that it can be delivered at night or on overcast days.
The first challenge when creating a first-of-its-kind facility was how to create the right foundation. Sundt performed the foundation work for the groundbreaking facility’s tanks, cooling towers, pipe supports, turbine generators and substation equipment. This included building and installing foundations for the project’s 12 140-foot-diameter salt tanks. The massive tanks reach approximately 45 feet into the air and the foundations extend 18 feet below ground, where they are surrounded and secured by soil cement.
Most of Sundt’s work was performed by its own crews, including building the concrete construction for the cooling towers and approximately 2,200 smaller concrete foundations for substations, as well as turbine generator and concrete pipe support facilities. Sundt employees also performed the excavation for the foundations; installed soil cement; placed the steel cooling pipes inside the salt tanks and filled them with lightweight aggregate; installed caissons for several steel towers; built blast walls; constructed the project’s cable trenches; and installed underground utility piping.