This week’s CSP Today news brief Abengoa, Capital Riesgo Global, Banco Santander, U.S. Department of Energy; Beyond Zero Emissions; SkyFuel, Munich Re; Enel, Roma Capitale, ENEA; California Energy Commission, BrightSource Energy.
Capital Riesgo Global to invest in Solana
Capital Riesgo Global, a subsidiary of Banco Santander, will become a financial partner in the development of Spanish group Abengoa’s Arizona-based CSP plant, Solana
Capital Riesgo Global will invest US$125 million in exchange for an equity stake in the project, a parabolic trough plant with six hours of thermal storage (with a production capacity of 280 MW gross). The total investment planned for Solana is around $2 billion
The Solana Generating Station is to be built 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Arizona. Construction began at the end of 2010. Solana will begin operation in 2013. The project’s construction work is on track, having achieved almost 50% of progress in construction so far, according to Abengoa.
Abengoa, which currently has more than 1 GW of solar capacity under construction, obtained a federal loan guarantee for approximately $1.45 billion in 2010 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office to finance this project. This guarantee facilitated the financial closing with the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) and the start of the plant’s construction
BZE report confirms potential of ISCC retrofits Australia
A report released in Australia underscores the environmental, social and economic case for the replacement of Port Augusta’s existing brown coal-fired power stations with baseload solar thermal and wind power.
The report, Repowering Port Augusta, released by not-for-profit research organisa tion Beyond Zero Emissions, outlines Port Augusta’s abundant wind and solar resource. Combined with its existing transmission infrastructure, Port Augusta is ideally positioned to establish itself as a renewable energy centre, concludes the report.
It noted that Port Augusta can facilitate the development of concentrating solar thermal technology in Australia. Port Augusta’s Direct Normal Incidence or DNI is approximately 2400kwhr/m2/year. This is more than suitable for concentrating solar thermal, with developers typically setting a much lower minimum resource threshold (a DNI of 1900 kWh/ m2/year to 2100 kWh/m2 year), says the report.
A two phase replacement scenario is proposed, which would reliably replace the existing baseload electricity. The first phase would replace Playford B entirely with CST, and the second phase would replace the remaining Northern plant with a combination of wind and concentrating solar thermal
SkyFuel ties up with Munich Re, to offer insurance backing
Solar thermal power technology and service provider SkyFuel says it has become the first company in the concentrating solar power industry to offer insurance to support its warranty.
The Arvada, Colorado-based company has tied up with leading reinsurance company Munich Re for this initiative.
For Munich Re, which has chosen to underwrite SkyFuel’s performance guarantees, this also marks the first occasion where it is insuring performance guarantees for CSP plants. In recent years, Munich Re has devised a number of covers that reduce the risks for investors in the renewable energy sector.
The move provides CSP operators and investors with greater planning certainty. SkyFuel highlighted that the ability to offer insurance backing is a distinct advantage in a market reliant on risk-averse banks for project finance.
SkyFuel guarantees a thermal efficiency performance guarantee of up to 5 years and a specular reflectance performance guarantee of up to 20 years. If the system fails to produce the guaranteed output, Munich Re’s cover takes effect. The advantage for the manufacturer is that this enables it to remove the long-term, technical guarantee risk from its balance sheet.
Enel, Roma Capitale and ENEA sign MoU
Italian power company Enel, Roma Capitale, the city’s municipal authority, and ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for testing and development of new technologies. The agreement includes activities for the evaluation and study of the pilot scheme, CSP Roma - Filiera TR.E.BIO.S, (trigeneration using renewable energy sources: biomass and solar thermodynamics) proposed by ENEA.
The plant will be built and managed by Enel Green Power.
Trebios is being described as a small-scale, modular, polygeneration CSP plant that will ensure the continuous production of electricity (1-5 MWe) and process steam, as well as integrate and, thus, enhance the renewable resources of sunlight and biomass that are widely available in the municipal area.
The agency developed the technology used by Enel to build the Archimede thermodynamic solar power plant. It features molten salts as a thermal vector fluid and to integrate a combined gas cycle and a thermodynamic solar power plant.
CEC to conduct workshop for 500MW project
The California Energy Commission is scheduled to conduct a workshop for BrightSource Energy’s proposed 500 MW Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System Project on April 26.
The workshop is being held to discuss technical areas including biological resources, land use, transmission system engineering, water resources etc. The applicant is Hidden Hills Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of solar thermal power specialist BrightSource. The project consists of two 250-MW solar thermal power plants. The project would be located on 3,277 acres of private land leased in Inyo County next to the Nevada border.
The capital cost for the project is estimated to exceed $2.7 billion.
If the project is approved, construction would be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014 or the first quarter of 2015. Commercial operation of the first solar plant would begin the first quarter of 2015.