How to achieve US$63/MWh in a CSP tower project with storage

SolarReserve managed to bid US$63.75 MWh for a CSP tower project with thermal storage and here are the answers. Of course they remembered to budget for the construction of the tower when they made their calculations and there was no silver bullet to get them there instantly. Instead, their success was down to their relentless commitment to improving efficiencies and making small cost savings across the whole project, combined with a fertile ground for CSP in Chile. As they say, every little helps!

The most important detail about the SolarReserve bid is the structure of the projects associated with it: two different projects were proposed, both with the same US$63/MWh bid:

• Copiapó is a 2 tower, 260 MW plant in baseload configuration with next generation molten salt tower technology and 14h of storage. Although there is little data on what exactly is the improvement of the technology, SolarReserve has indicated that it involves a larger and more efficient receiver combined with a larger heliostat field to take advantage of the highest solar resource on the planet, with a Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI) of more than 3,400 kwh/m2/year. SolarReserve reckons Copiapó will produce over 1,800 GWh per year.

• Likana is a 3 tower, 390 MW plant in baseload configuration with next generation molten salt tower technology, also featuring 14h of storage. This project enjoys even higher DNI, at more than 3,500 kWh/m2/year. This project should produce over 2,700 GWh per year.Read more…

Belén Gallego
Head of ATA Insights and CSO of ATA Renewables

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2016