By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Energy
The world's largest concentrated solar power plant is in the works for Abu Dhabi.
Development organization Masdar has appointed French oil and gas firm Total and Spanish energy firm Abengoa Solar to partner to own, build and operate "Shams 1," the first such plant in the Middle East.
The plant will help the emirate meet its target of achieving 7 percent renewable energy power generation capacity by 2020.
It will be located in Madinat Zayed, roughly 75 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi.
The plant, which will be owned 60 percent by Masdar and 20 percent each by Total and Abengoa, is planned to extend over 1.6 square miles and offer 100 megawatts of capacity thanks to a solar field of 768 parabolic trough collectors.
Construction will begin in the third quarter of 2010 and is expected to last two years.
"[The project] represents the translation into reality of the vision the Abu Dhabi leadership had for renewable energy in the Emirate," said Masdar CEO Sultan Al-Jaber in a statement, adding that it will help open the door for renewable energy projects in the UAE and spur development of a knowledge-based economy.
The plant is expected to displace 193,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Jun 11, 2010
@ dave_helmut "From the diagram, they are converting sunlight into ... I think ... electricity, and then heat...? Kinda lossy if its true, isn't it?" No, Dave. Concentrating solar collects heat, and THEN converts it to electricity. The same way a Fission plant works, with a steam turbine. If they use the molten salt technique, once it's up to operating temperature it will run day and night for up to three days worth of shade. Even if they use the hot oil storage method, they can still run for two hours or more past sundown on stored heat. Spain has an interesting solar tower that just uses hot air. No heat storage there, though. We've got a dozen or so Concentrating Solar installations in the USA, altogether. Some small, pilot plants, a few that add up to bigger than the one in this article. One 60+ Mw plant just went in outside Vegas in 2008 to help with their air conditioning bills. There's enough reliable solar power in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, etc., to power the whole USA. And once we pass that critical threshold, keep building them. We can use the excess power to smelt aluminum, and crack hydrogen for fuel cells and cars. Even enough to desalinate water for irrigation.
From the diagram, they are converting sunlight into ... I think ... electricity, and then heat...? Kinda lossy if its true, isn't it?