This week’s CSP Today news brief includes: IFC, World Bank Group, Abengoa, Inabensa Bharat; 3M, Gossamer Space Frames, Cogentrix Energy; ENEA, CEA, CNRS, Fraunhofer ISE, Weizmann Institute, CIEMAT, ACS-COBRA; ToughTrough & AGC Glass.
IFC backs Inabensa Bharat
The IFC (International Finance Corporation), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced plans to invest US$14 million in Indian EPC Inabensa Bharat for a project in India.
Inabensa Bharat is a 100% owned subsidiary of Spanish infrastructure group Abengoa. IFC will support Inabensa Bharat through the provision of long-term finance for the development of steel fabrication plant in the state of Gujarat, near the city of Vadodara with an annual capacity of 25,000 tons.
The plant will manufacture in roughly equal quantity steel structures for transmission & distribution (T&D) projects and metallic support structures for the cylindrical parabolic solar collectors and heliostats in concentrated solar power projects.
The IFC will also support the acquisition of technology and equipment to improve its delivery of components along the renewable energy and infrastructure supply chains in India and other countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The total project cost is estimated at US$20 million. The proposed IFC investment is a loan of up to US$14 million.
Abengoa sees growth jump
Spanish group Abengoa’s Engineering and Construction (E&C) segment grew by 19% to €931 million in the first quarter of this year.
The E&C division signed new contracts in the period worth €552 million, bringing the order backlog to €7,078 million as of March 31, 2012.
Two new concentrating solar power assets (Solacor 1 and 2) came into operation earlier than expected during this quarter, highlighting the timely execution of the company’s announced investment plan.
Abengoa also recently obtained the support of Banco Santander for one of its projects. Capital Riesgo Global, a subsidiary of Banco Santander, last month chose to become a financial partner in the development of Abengoa’s CSP plant, Solana.
Capital Riesgo Global will invest US$125 million (€96m) in exchange for an equity stake in the project. The Solana Generating Station is to be built 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Arizona.
Overall, Abengoa posted revenues of €1,764 million in the first quarter. Its net income jumped by 58% to €89 million.
Abengoa’s international activities accounted for 70% of total revenues.
Abengoa to lead Spanish R&D projects
Spain’s Center of Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) has selected Spanish group Abengoa to lead two research & development consortiums under the Feder-Innterconecta programme. The total cost of both projects, to which Abengoa will contribute 55%, will exceed €12 million.
The Feder-Innterconecta programme is geared towards financing large integrated projects that are experimental yet strategic. The projects will also demonstrate technological and industrial advancements for Andalusia.
Abengoa will be responsible for leading the team made up of 16 research centres and seven companies. The focus will be on next-generation parabolic trough collectors and optimization of key components. There will also be a focus on novel thermal storage technologies designed for direct steam generating solar plants, in order to improve dispatchability.
3M unveils new CSP solar collector system
3M’s Renewable Energy Division has teamed with Huntington Beach, California-based Gossamer Space Frames to unveil a new parabolic trough solar collector technology that promises to reduce the installed cost of a parabolic trough solar field by over 25%.
The system is designed to reduce equipment and installation costs for CSP systems used in power generation. It combines the durability, design flexibility, and high reflectivity of 3M Solar Mirror Film 1100 with the mechanical design work of Gossamer Space Frames.
The Large Aperture Trough 73 (LAT 73) features a concentration factor of over 100x and an aperture size of 7.3 m, both world benchmarks for the industry, according to an official announcement.
The demonstration system is fully operational and is installed at the Sunray Energy facility in Daggett, California. Sunray is owned and operated by Cogentrix Energy. The new system began operating in October last year and provides a peak of approximately 275 kw of electricity to the output of the Sunray facility, all of which is provided under contract to Southern California Edison.
A second LAT 73 project is underway in the Southern U.S., with the project commissioning scheduled for June.
EU-funding approved for OPTS project
European Solar Thermal Electricity Association has confirmed the approval of the €8.650.000 EU- funding for a project focused on developing a new thermal energy storage (TES) system.
Within the frame of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and in order to achieve the goals of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan of the European Commission, this research project focuses on thermal energy storage and comprises 10 partners.
The OPTS project, Optimization of a Thermal energy Storage system with integrated Steam Generator, is based on single tank configuration using stratifying Molten Salts (MS, Sodium/Potassium Nitrates 60/40 w/w) as a heat storage medium at 550°C maximum temperature, integrated with a steam generator.
The projects involves organisations from France, Germany, Israel, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal. Research partners includes ENEA, CEA, CNRS, Fraunhofer ISE, Weizmann Institute, CREF-CyI, CIEMAT and LNEG, while the industrial partners are ACS-COBRA, Tecnimont KT e Ansaldo Nucleare.
ToughTrough announces supply-deal with AGC Glass
Bremen-based solar collector manufacturer ToughTrough GmbH has announced a supply agreement with AGC Glass Europe.
ToughTrough has developed a light-weight optimized solar mirror system that it says can yield a cost reduction of 25% for solar thermal power plants.
Its latest supplier deal with AGC Glass finishes off the product offering with a reflective top-layer consisting of AGC Sun Mirox Thin Glass. Barely 0.95 mm thick, the glass is flexible enough to be adapted to particular mirror shapes, enabling high precision reflectance, says the company.
According to the company, lightweight materials used in a ‘sandwich structure’, (similar to those of aircraft constructions), reduces the overall weight of the support structure. The design and the mirrors lend themselves to a system that is both robust and resilient.
The support structures are designed for both parabolic troughs and heliostats. Production is slated to begin mid-2012.