Reported from CSPPLAZA: The year of 2017 has witnessed well performances of these CSP emerging markets such as Morocco and MENA across the world. In retrospect, we saw that lower and lower bidding prices have broken the record time and again. Meanwhile, new projects were put into operation and achievements have been continuously made by these famous international projects and research institutes… Before saying farewell to 2017, let’s please review the top 10 news of global CSP industry in 2017 carefully selected by CSPPLAZA.
1. Crescent Dunes CSP plant back online on July 12th after eight month outage for molten salt tank leakage
According to NV Energy, Crescent Dunes CSP plant’s sole customer under a 25-year PPA, the plant returned to service on July 12 and started delivering renewable energy to customers in Nevada again. At that time, Crescent Dunes CSP plant has already down for repairs for eight months due to molten salt tank leakage, and the loss is estimated more than $4 million. Previously，project developer SolarReserve predicted that the plant could back online on January, but the repair cycle turns out longer than expectation.
Data shows that the power generation of Crescent Dunes CSP plant in July is 9429MWh, but the highest record of its power generation in September 2016 was 30514MWh, so It is expected a longer period to reach the design point. However, on the whole, the situation is getting better. During the US total solar eclipse on August 21, the plant maintained a steady electricity output and without being interrupted by the eclipse, which greatly showed the superior of CSP plant with thermal storage.
2. Dubai 700MW CSP Project with one solar tower plant and three parabolic trough plants reaches financial closure
In September, the contract of Dubai 700 MW fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was awarded to a consortium comprising Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric at 7.3cents/kWh, which achieved Dubai’s lowest CSP price (LCOE) record.
In June, the original scale of the project was set to be 200MW, but Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) chose an alternative program of 700 MW at last, combining the design of one 100 MW solar tower plant and three parabolic trough plants with 200MW each. On December 11, ACWA power formally announced that the project will reach financial closure by the first quarter of 2018, and then enters into construction.
3. SolarReserve wins SA 150MW Aurora CSP project at the lowest bidding price with $ 60/MWh
In mid-August, SolarReserve won a solar contract at 6 cents/kWh of South Australia 150MW Aurora CSP project, breaking the lowest CSP bidding price record. South Australian government promised $ 2.6 million for the advertising of this project and signed a 20-year generation project agreement with SolarReserve. Under this agreement, SolarReserve delivers its power to Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) at $78 MWh and the South Australian Government then extracts it from NEM at no more than $78 MWh, during the day. Then after dark, SolarReserve could sell some of its stored solar to any buyer in the NEM, offering a cheaper alternative during peak pricing periods. Construction of the Aurora CSP plant is scheduled to start in 2018 and be completed by 2020.
4. The practical completion of fourth commercialized CSP plant in South Africa——Xina Solar One
On August 16th, Xina Solar one CSP plant with 100MW in South Africa completed practically, which is the fourth commercialized CSP plant and the third parabolic trough CSP plant putting into operation in South Africa.
Awarded during the third round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer programme (REIPPP), Xina Solar One is located near South Africa’s first commercialized CSP plant——Kaxu Solar One. In October, the plant was announced of its successful first month commercial operation. The plant is expected to generate approximately 400GWh of energy per year, which will be sufficient to provide electricity to 95,000 homes, while the use of CSP will prevent the emission of 348,000 tons of CO2 annually.
5. Abengoa completes reorganization and gets financial in order
Abengoa SA finished asset restructuring on March,2017. On November 25, 2015, Abengoa was forced to launch pre-bankruptcy proceedings, falling into the biggest bankruptcy crisis in Spanish history.
The positive EBITDA of Abengoa SA reached EUR 16 million in the first half of 2017, compared to negative EUR 59 million a year earlier. And Atlantica Yield, the yieldco created by Abengoa, turned to a net profit of USD 12.6 million (EUR 10.6m) in the first half of 2017. On November 2017, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. has reached an agreement with Abengoa SA to purchase from Abengoa a 25% equity interest in Atlantica Yield for a total purchase price of approximate $608 million.
6. The first phase of Oman 1GWth Solar EOR project was completed and California will develop the new 850MWth world’s second-largest EOR project
In October 2017, the first phase of the Mirrah Solar EOR (Heavy Oil Recovery) project, co-founded by Oman Oil Development Company and GlassPoint Solar, was successfully completed and successfully delivered steam to the AmalWest field in November.
In November, on the basis of the project’s success, GlassPoint and Aera Energy, California’s largest oil and gas producer, are planning to jointly build California’s largest solar EOR project. The project is planned to have a capacity of 850MWth and will be the second largest solar EOR project in the world following the Oman’s Mirrah project.
7. Morocco Noor2 & 3 CSP projects come into the the peak of commissioning and are expected to be put into operation in 2018
As the end of the construction work, Noor2&3 have entered the peak of commissioning and are expected to start generating electricity by 2018. The 200MW Noor2 parabolic trough CSP project and the 150MW Noor3 tower CSP project are part of the Ouarzazate Solar Park Project in Morocco. On September 17, 2017, the generator of Noor2 project was installed in place smoothly, which is a milestone in the construction of the project. On October 30 and November 27, 2017, Grid power supply to Noor2 &3 succeeded the first time respectively, laying a solid foundation for the follow-up commissioning. Once completion, these two major projects will set a new record for single-plant installation of trough and tower CSP technologies.
8. Israel’s Ashalim 1&2 CSP plant are about to be completed and expected to be combined to the grid in early 2018
In July 2017, the project team successfully completed the whole lifting of the receiver, weighing up to several thousand tons, of the Ashalim1 project and this became also a milestone in the construction of the project. In September, according to the project owner, the calibration of the solar field is under way. It is estimated that power generation will be carried out in early 2018.
Ashalim2 parabolic trough CSP project started construction in July 2015. At the end of June 2017, the installation of solar field was completed. The construction work on other sub-islands has come to an end also. The overall project is expected to be completed early next year.
9. Overseas CSP enterprises are targeting the Chinese market and have already achieved some gains
The year 2017 is the first year for the concentrated construction of China’s first batch of CSP demonstration projects and China’s CSP market has attracted the attention of many overseas companies. Many overseas engineering consulting companies have been involved in the construction of China’s demonstration projects. For example, German SBP’s Stellio heliostat will used into China Power Engineering Consulting Group Northwest Power Design Institute Co., Ltd. Hami 50MW Tower Molten Salt CSP Demonstration Project, which will be also the first commercial power plant application of innovative Stellio heliostats in China.
In addition, Australia-based WorleyParsons, Spanish EA, IDOM and other engineering consulting firms also gain orders in the first batch of demonstration projects of China. As for the key equipment supply, Siemens, Flowserve and other international companies also won multiple orders, involving steam turbine and molten salt pumps and other key equipment.
10. International CSP technologies keep continuous innovation, collectors and diversified applications become the focus
CSP technology innovation is still a hot topic for the international CSP industry in 2017. The new HELIOtube plastic film collector developed by Austria’s HELIOVIS successfully completed its first industrial trial run in Spain. The University of Arizona successfully developed a prototype of CPV-CSP hybrid solar collector. Sandia National Laboratories developed fractal shape receiver. DLR succeeded in developing CentRec, a heat receiver using ceramic particleinstead of fluid, and tested it on the Jülich Tower Test Plant; the SOLAR-JET research and development team of the European Union produced jet fuel for the first time using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide; In the United States, NREL found that nickel-based coatings for solar thermal power generation can reduce corrosion rate of molten salt by 96%. Overall, in 2017, the international CSP innovation focused on the diversified applications of collectors and CSP technologies.