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Areva selling 300 MW of solar-thermal in 2011

Largest producer of nuclear equipment Areva SA to announce equipment deals for an additional 256 MW of capacity by end of the year

Areva SA (CEI) aims to have contracts to sell as much as 300 megawatts of solar-thermal systems by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported.

The company entered the solar-energy market last year by acquiring Ausra Inc.

Jayesh Goyal, Vice President of North American sales for the company’s Areva Solar Inc unit said, “Opportunities in the U.S., Australia, India, Africa and the Middle East may yield an additional 450 megawatts of contracts by the end of 2012.” 

“The orders come as falling prices for photovoltaic panels are prompting developers like Solar Millennium AG to abandon solar-thermal technology, which focuses sunlight with mirrors or lenses to heat liquids and drive steam turbines. Large companies like Areva will be more successful in solar-thermal than startups, Goyal said.

The world’s largest producer of nuclear equipment is in discussions with three utilities about using its systems for gas booster projects and expects to complete its first U.S. sale next year in Arizona, Goyal said.

The company may move into other technologies like storage and is not interested in the photovoltaic market unless “we see some value we can add there,” Goyal said.

After winning a 44-megawatt contract awarded in April by the Australian government, Goyal said the company will announcement equipment deals for an additional 256 megawatts of capacity by end of the year.

Areva is a French public multinational industrial conglomerate headquartered in the Tour Areva in Courbevoie in Paris. It is mainly known for nuclear power and has interests in other energy projects.

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