dispatch it in the early evening
and into the night. Tex Wilkins
from the CSP Alliance thinks
this application could make PV,
which is often viewed as a threat
to CSP, a complimentary technology. “The ability of CSP with storage to dispatch its power to the
grid in the early morning and evening can combine with daytime
PV to spread out the use of solar
power from the time people get up
early in the morning until they go
to bed late at night,” he explained.
The 110-MW Crescent Dunes
Project. Credit SolarReserve.
plants such as these are able
to provide frm, dispatchable
power, explained Van Scoter,
which increases its attractiveness to utilities and “improves
CSP’s cost competitiveness,”
he added. Areva’s Goyal
agreed, explaining that his
company is installing its Compact Linear Fresnel Refector
(CLFR) solar steam generators
at a coal plant in Australia. He
said that the CLFR technology would increase plant output by up to 44 MW and do so
at a lower cost than building a
standalone 44-MW plant.
CSP technology can also be
coupled with energy storage,
one of the hottest topics in the
renewable energy industry
this year. Plants that include
energy storage with molten
salt can store solar power and
SkyFuel’s parabolic trough concentrating solar collector. Credit SkyFuel.
Wilkins said that in fve years most CSP plants will include energy storage. Van Scoter from eSolar said in fve years he expects
that most CSP projects will include molten salt or ISCC technology. “There is also a high potential for projects involving industrial process heat, EOR and desalination,” he said.
All CSP experts said that utilities are just beginning to recognize CSP’s value — a renewable energy able to provide base load,
dispatchable power. According to SkyFuel’s Mason, “This attribute of CSP is its main differentiator from PV and wind, and will
ensure its increasing uptake in the power market.” à