U.S. Department of Energy

CSP Heat Integration for Baseload Renewable Energy Deployment

In October 2013, DOE announced an award under the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Heat Integration for Baseload Renewable Energy Development (HIBRED) program to advance the state of the art in CSP hybrid plants, which incorporate thermal and or chemical energy from a CSP system into a fossil fueled power generation system. The following awardee was selected to integrate at least 10 megawatts (MW) of electrical generating capacity with high-temperature CSP thermal energy into an existing 500-MW combined-cycle, natural gas-fired, baseload power plant.

Approach

Current applications of CSP-fossil hybrid plants operate at modest temperatures of approximately 400°C. The selected project team is working to integrate CSP solar thermal energy at working temperatures that match the existing steam turbine's operating temperature of 565°C, resulting in better solar-to-electric conversion efficiency. Additionally, the project aims to include thermal energy storage to dependably deliver time-of-day energy augmentation for an increase in the guaranteed working capacity at this baseload power generation facility. DOE is providing $10 million in funding support over 4 years with a minimum of 75% awardee cost share.

Innovation

The integration of CSP systems with fossil-based facilities is expected to deliver solar-generated electricity at a lower levelized cost of energy than standalone CSP facilities. In addition, CSP hybrid systems may reduce risk and construction time by using existing or coordinated transmission interconnection. When combined with CSP, fossil systems can have greater capacity to deliver power at peak load hours during the summer, lower emissions, faster start-up, and an improved heat rate or fossil fuel efficiency.