Operating Agent: Mark S. Mehos, NREL, USA
Nature of Work & Objectives
Task I addresses the design, testing, demonstration, evaluation, and application of concentrating solar power systems, also known as solar thermal electric systems. This includes parabolic troughs, linear Fresnel collectors, power towers and dish/engine systems. Through technology development and market barrier removal, the focus of SolarPACES Task I is enabling the entry of CSP systems into the commercial market place. The component development and research efforts of Task III logically feed Task I as new components become parts of new systems. In return, the results of this Task I provide direction to Task III on new component needs.
Organization and structure
The Task I Operating Agent is responsible for organization and reporting of Task I activities. Due to the desire of CSP developers and other stakeholders to promote and increase the financeability of CSP projects, Task I has focused on two primary subtasks, 1) the development and population of an international project database for commercial CSP systems under operation, construction, or development and 2) the development of acceptance test procedures and standards for CSP systems. A third subtask, the development of best practice guidelines for modeling CSP systems, received funding from SolarPACES and initiated work on this topic in 2010.
Status of the Technology
Between 1985 and 1991, some 354 MW of solar trough technology were deployed in the U.S. in southern California. These plants are still in commercial operation today and have demonstrated the potential for long-term viability of CSP. Worldwide, CSP has seen a resurgence of interest for markets in the USA, Spain, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In the United States, 514 MW of CSP were in operation at the end of 2010 with an additional 1,350 MW under constructionand 4,000 MW under development. Spain has 1,582 MW of commercial CSP generation and an additional 774 MW under development (Status August 2012) to come on-line during 2012 and 2013.
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