Ausra Inc has officially opened its first North American manufacturing and distribution center.

The facility, in Las Vegas, is a 12,000-square metre, highly automated manufacturing and distribution center which will supply reflectors, absorber tubes and other components for the company’s solar thermal power plants. When it reaches full capacity in about two years, the factory is expected to  be the largest solar power equipment manufacturing plant in the world.

Ausra’s CEO, Robert Fishman, said “Ausra’s factory is accelerating Nevada’s and America’s solar future by tripling worldwide manufacturing capacity, relieving the supply constraint that has slowed the industry, and continuing to drive down costs.”

Ausra’s Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector solar technology captures the sun’s power to produce electricity. Mirrors focus sunlight to heat water pipes and the resulting steam drives a turbine to generate electricity.

Ausra was founded by Australian, David Mills, who developed the technology when he was head of the Solar Energy Group at the University of Sydney. Mills moved to California to secure venture capital from venture capitalists including Vinod Khosla.

Fresnel solar concentrators
Fresnel solar concentrators