French nuclear giant Areva exits CSP

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In the face of weak sales and falling revenues, across its nuclear and renewables businesses, French firm Areva has announced that it is getting out of solar. The company wrote down its CSP business by €373 million (US$500 million).

100 jobs in the U.S. and India will go as the result of the move.

Areva announced the move as it made public significant H1 2014 losses days ago. While Areva Solar had generated revenues of €100 million ($134 million) it had made “tens of millions” in losses on that figure.

Areva moved into CSP in 2010, after acquiring Ausra CSP technology, formerly Solar Heat and Power, from Sydney CSP developers. In 2007 the firm relocated to the U.S.

The company constructed the 5 MW Kimberlina solar plant in Bakersfield, California.

Areva is currently developing 44 MW solar thermal addition to the coal-fired 750 MW Kogan Creek Power Station in Australia. The add on is planned to up the plant’s electricity production, without increasing its coal consumption. The project is being supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Areva had previously been selected to construct the "Solar Dawn" project in Australia, before it was scrapped after facing policy changes and difficulties in finding project finance.

pv magazine has contacted ARENA to ascertain the current status of the project.