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.
It appears that Google is getting ever deeper into the sun business. Stating that it is dissatisfied with the general lack of progress on achieving breakthroughs in green technology, the company wants to build better highly reflective and rugged mirrors — as well as the mirror substrate that the reflective surface is mounted on. By reflecting more light and more of the solar spectrum than ordinary mirrors these mirrors have the potential to reduce the cost of solar thermal systems by up to 25 per cent.
Aora Solar Energy Company, formerly known as EDIG Solar, an Israeli solar power startup has launched a small 100kw hybrid solar/gas turbine system that will provide power to kibbutz Samar located in the southern desert of Israel. Besides concentrated solar energy, this hybrid power station can also run on other alternative fuels, including bio-gas, bio-diesel and natural gas. By adding the flexibility to run the micro-turbine using an alternative energy source besides the sun this hybrid flexibility the power plant can continue to produce electricity when sunlight is insufficient, such as at night or when it is cloudy.