News

  • The training programme is designed to cover five strategic areas in the field of Concentrating Solar Thermal technologies and will be provided by international experts.
  • Public: This course is designed for graduate students (Masters and PhDs). This is also open to professionals from CSP companies and any interested stakeholders willing to acquire strategic knowledge in the field.
  • Dates: 5 days –16-20 October 2017
  • Location: University of Seville, Spain
  • Registration deadline: 15 September 2017 (contact us for more information)
  • Registration fees: None – Each participant pays for its own travel, accommodation and food

 

Click here for more information

A new computational tool will be used by international researchers at SolarPACES to calculate the best technology mix of generation resources to most cost-effectively cover Chile’s load curve.
 

The modeling tool was initially developed at Aachen University, in response to a request from the German Academy of Sciences, to see which flexibility options would be best suited to cover residual load in a system with a very high share of intermittent generation.



Given Germany's low DNI, it might seem improbable that thermal solar would be a key component of its low-carbon grid planning under its Energiewende (energy transition), but several papers published in 2016 found that Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) with Thermal Energy Storage (CSP-TES) will be an essential component.

On Friday 5 May, The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has condemned the Kingdom of Spain to pay €128 million to Eiser Infrastructure Limited and its affiliate Energia Solar Luxembourg due to the reforms undertaken by the Spanish Government affecting the renewable sector. The Spanish Energy Ministry is considering an appeal to the decision.

 

Eiser had partnered with Elecnor and the engineering firm Aries to develop commercial projects in Spain. The firm owns 36.95%  of Aries Solar Termoelectrica (ASTE), which has two 50 MW thermosolar power plants, as well as a 33.83% stake in Dioxipe Solar (Astexol), company that developed another 50 MW thermosolar power station for a total investment of €935 million.

 

Within the next few months Spain will have to go through dozens of similar arbitration cases filed by other companies that invested in the renewable sector.

 

Source: El Pais.

 

http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/05/05/inenglish/1493988308_857826.amp.html

System Advisor Model (SAM) webinars

Monday, 08 May 2017 07:35

NREL is organizing two new System Advisor Model (SAM) webinars in May. SAM webinars are one-hour lectures with question and answer sessions that cover various topics about SAM. All webinars are free and start at 2 pm Mountain. To register for a webinar, click its name in the following list:

 

Overview of New Industrial Process Heat and CSP Capabilities, on May 17, 2017

 

Modeling Molten Salt Power Tower Systems, on May 18, 2017

New SolarPACES Report

 

Title: Discussion of currently used practices for: Creation of Meteorological Data Sets for CSP/STE Performance Simulations

 

Authors: Kristian Pagh Nielsen, Philippe Blanc, Frank Vignola, Lourdes Ramírez, Manuel Blanco, Richard Meyer

 

Click here to download the report

 

Summary

 

A Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)/Solar Thermal Electric (STE) power plant is a substantial long-term investment. To evaluate the opportunities and risks associated with such a long-term investment requires careful technical and economic analysis. Usually, the results of such analysis are presented in what are known as feasibility studies.

 

Traditional CSP/STE feasibility studies start by defining an economic model to estimate the eco-nomic metrics that characterize the quality and attractiveness of the investment project associated with the building and exploitation of the CSP/STE power plant. Typical economic metrics are the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), the Net Present Value (NPV), and the Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR).

 

Once the model is defined, the main challenge is to accurately estimate the technical and econom-ic variables and parameters that informs the model, such as the project’s Total Investment, the Annual O&M costs, the Annual Electricity Generation, the Discount Rates, the Equity-to-Debt ratio, etc.

 

Of all of these variables and parameters, the Annual Electricity Generation is the one that characterizes the quality of the solar resource at the CSP/STE plant site and the technical performance of the CSP/STE technology selected to build the solar power plant. To estimate it, one should first develop or acquire a year of relevant solar radiation and other meteorological data that is representative of the long-term meteorology at the solar plant site, and use it, together with the technical parameters that define the plan technology, configuration and operation strategy, to feed a technical model of the plant and estimate the Annual Electricity Generation estimate.

 

Often, only one yearly data set is used that is representative of the average meteorological year to be expected at the site in the long-term. Sometimes this is supplemented by estimates of the production in a bad year that will be exceeded with a certain probability.

 

While the above approach, combined with a sensitivity analysis of the economic variables and parameters of the economic model is useful to banks and other potential investors in the decision making process related to the decision of carrying out the investment, there are other more sophisticated approaches that can be pursued.

 

The one we think is worth exploring is a full stochastic approach, in which the following aspects are explicitly modeled and taking into account:

 

 The intrinsic variability of the solar resources and other meteorological variables.
 The intrinsic variability of the price of commodity-like plan components, such as molten salt.
 The uncertainty of the technical model used to determine the annual electricity yield.
 The uncertainty associated with all the different component costs and other costs that de-termine the aggregate values of the plan investment and the Annual O&M cost.

 

In such a model, all the input variables and parameters are considered probability distributions. The challenge is to determine these distributions. How to determine the probability distribution of the Annual Electricity yield of the CSP/STE plant is the overarching theme of this document. Obviously, it starts with how to model the probability distribution of the solar radiation and other relevant meteorological variables. In this report we discuss the factors affecting this distribution.

A new technical report “Concentrating Solar Power Gen3 Demonstration Roadmap” was released in January 2017 by NREL in the context of the SunShot Initiative – a program launched in 2011 in the U.S. aiming at making solar thermal electricity cost-competitive with power from conventional power generation technologies by 2020. The report can be downloaded here.

 

This roadmap addresses and prioritizes research and development (R&D) gaps and lays out the pathway for a “Gen3 CSP Roadmap.” Throughout the roadmap process, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) engaged appropriate stakeholders, including the CSP industry and developers, utilities, and the laboratory and university research and development (R&D) community. An industry-led Technical Review Committee (TRC) was established to guide the roadmap activity. Technology gaps for each of the technology pathways were identified, together with research priorities designed to address them. This information will be used by DOE to inform and prioritize R&D activities leading to one or more technology pathways to be successfully demonstrated at a scale appropriate for future commercialization of the technology.

2017 SolarPACES Conference in Chile

Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:32

The 23rd SolarPACES Conference to be held in Santigo de Chile, Chile, will take place from 26th to 29th of September 2017 at the Hotel W Santiago.


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