By San Francisco Business Times

A United Kingdom-based utility is licensing BrightSource Energyâ¿¿s solar thermal technology to build a 38 megawatt power plant on the Greek Island of Crete.

The Crete project will produce enough electricity to power about 13,000 homes.

Oakland-based BrightSource Energy is both the inventor of its solar thermal technology as well as the developer of power plants that use it.

While BrightSource has contracts in place to sell power from some 2,610 megawatts of solar thermal power plants in California, the deal with Nur Energie marks just the second time a developer other than BrightSource will develop a project using the technology.

BrightSourceâ¿¿s technology uses expansive fields of mirrors that direct the sunâ¿¿s light onto a tower containing a vat of liquid. The concentration of sun heats up the liquid, which turns to steam that turns a steam turbine, producing power.

The company broke ground on the first phase of the 392-megawatt Ivanpah project in the Mojave Desert October 27. The company was offered a $1.37 billion conditional loan guarantee from the federal government in February 2010 to help fund that project, which could power about 140,000 California homes. BrightSource is exploring a public offering.

More details are in the BrightSource announcement..

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