Research

Publications

Prospective Students

Events

People

Search

Seminars

Links

Home

2009-10 Seminars


Solar Thermal Demonstration Program

Cara Libby
Project Manager
EPRI

Abstract
As fossil fuel prices rise and emission allowances are implemented, solar thermal hybrids may be an attractive option for energy companies. The system utilizes steam generated by a concentrating solar thermal mirror field paired with a conventional fossil fuel-powered steam cycle, offsetting some of the fuel required to generate power. Many energy companies are interested in adding solar power to their generating mix, but today most solar applications are not cost-competitive with other power generating options. Solar augmentation potentially is the lowest cost option for adding solar power to the generation fleet. It also provides a hedge against fuel price fluctuations and reduces plant emissions. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducted two studies (one natural gas combined cycle plant and one pulverized coal plant) to determine the technical and economic feasibility of various solar thermal hybrid designs. The projects investigated the best options for adding concentrating solar thermal energy to existing fossil fuel-powered steam cycles, including site evaluation considerations, solar technology selection, fossil plant equipment limitations, operations and maintenance requirements, and economic implications.