SolarReserve didn’t win an environmental award for its concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, it won the Commercial Application of the Year Award from the 2016 Platts Global Energy Awards. The technology allows the solar-powered plant to operate throughout the night and cloudy days with heat generated by the sun. It was successfully implemented at the 110 megawatt Crescent Dunes Energy Project in Nevada where it’s producing electricity at lower costs than fossil-fuel generators.
"We congratulate SolarReserve for its win of Commercial Application of the Year. The independent panel of judges was impressed with SolarReserve for its stand out performance in this awards category and for its commitment to the energy industry's advancement,” said Martin Fraenkel, president of S&P Global Platts.
The Crescent Dunes solar farm uses a field of mirrors surrounding a turbine tower to concentrate heat from the sun to superheat molten salt and water into steam. Similar to coal-burning power plants, the steam drives a turbine generator system to produce electricity. The molten salt also acts as a 1,100 megawatt-hour storage system, enabling the facility to deliver solar-generated electricity to the grid 24 hours per day.
"It is gratifying to have Platts and its distinguished panel of industry experts from around the world recognize SolarReserve's market-leading technology, which is helping solar thermal with storage play an increasingly significant role in the growing clean energy landscape," said SolarReserve's CEO Kevin Smith. "Taking breakthrough technology from its early stages to full-scale commercial applications is probably the most difficult part of the innovation process. We've certainly had our challenges, but rigorous testing and extensive operations have confirmed that the key technology is performing above design efficiencies and thermal output.”
Under a 25-year power-purchase agreement with NV Energy, Crescent Dunes’ energy storage potential is equal to all the utility-scale batteries currently in operation around the world, according to SolarReserve. Additionally, it said that Crescent Dunes has the potential to power 75,000 Nevada homes with clean, renewable energy at a fraction of the cost of operating and maintaining traditional fossil fuel plants.
The project is under a 25-year power- purchase agreement with NV Energy. Crescent Dunes has the potential to power 75,000 Nevada homes with clean, renewable energy at a fraction of the cost of operating and maintaining traditional fossil fuel plants SolarReserve stated.
Thermal solar has not experienced the same commercial success as photovoltaic solar panels. After the successful completion of Crescent Dunes in 2015, SolarReserve has signed cooperative contracts with Shenhua Group, the world’s largest coal supplier, to develop 1-gigawatt of CSP projects across China.Tweet