Phoenix-based Stirling Energy Systems announced Monday it is expanding by launching Tessera Solar, a new unit to manufacture the products used to build large solar-thermal power plants in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Tessera Solar has a North American division based in Houston Texas and an international division based in London, U.K.

Tessera Solar North America will oversee completion of the two projects initiated by by SES Inc. working together with California utilities San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. The projects are two of the largest solar farms in the world. They are scheduled to begin construction in California by 2010, the company said in a statement.

The expansion for Stirling comes at a time for operations reductions across the U.S. during the current economic crisis. However the renewable energy industry is receiving some support from the Federal Government.

President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress approved an economic stimulus package earlier this year which includes funding for renewable energy projects.

Policy changes are also taking shape as Congress is finalizes a bill that proposes new renewable energy standards that will require utilities to take a percentage of their electricity sources from wind, solar or geothermal firms.

Currently, California, New York, New Jersey and other states have established renewable energy standards.

Stirling Energy Systems is a unit of Irish firm NTR Plc.