This post reports on the newly announced loan guarantees for the concentrated solar power (CSP) Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project that is to be built in Nevada. This kind of solar power, because it is paired with a molten salt thermal energy storage capacity has the ability to be a load following generation source that is somewhat insulated from intermittency issues as well. For large concentrated solar thermal energy this decoupling of the energy collection from electricity generation makes a lot of sense, because the molten salt is already being used as the working fluid that captures the sun’s heat.
Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Steven Chu announces $50 million in funding for solar energy grid parity demonstration program for innovative solar technologies leading to cost-competitive solar energy that helps solar reach this important milestone.
A new report by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) shows that there has been strong growth in new geothermal power projects continuing into 2009. Since August 2008, here has been a 25% increase in new geothermal projects. There is also an increase in overall production potential by 35%. The report also notes that the number of states producing geothermal power has increased from 7 to 8 with the addition of Wyoming. The report identifies a total of 126 projects under development with the potential to put 5,500 MW of new geothermal power on line, equivalent to 15,000 MW – 20,000 MW from wind turbines or enough power for 5.5 million California homes.
SOLAR ENERGY UPDATE: Concerns Raised About Impact of Solar Projects in The Mohave Desert, New 10MW PV Solar Energy Plant Planned for Chicago, Wal-Mart Expanding Its Use of Solar Power, India SEMI Has Plans to Get on The Global Dolar Map, First Solar to Build 53 MW Solar Facility in Germany
This update highlights several current issues and developments in the solar energy space. Concerns have been raised about the potential deleterious impact of utility scale solar energy projects in the fragile water poor desert environments of the Mohave Desert. Large scale solar collection farms use water to wash the mirrors and for concentrating solar thermal often use water for cooling.