CSP Alliance Report

The Economic and Reliability Benefits of CSP with Thermal Energy Storage: Literature Review and Research Needs


The CSP Alliance

The CSP Alliance is a public policy advocacy organization dedicated to bringing increased awareness and visibility to this sustainable, dispatchable technology.

Our membership includes many of the world’s largest CSP corporations and their supply-chain partners. Our objectives include advancing the industry’s value proposition, addressing issues of job creation and environmental sustainability, and setting the foundation for future uses of the technology.

The first version of this report was released in December 2012. This next version includes expanded discussion of methodology and new study results available over the course of 2013-14. 

The Full Report can be downloaded HERE (10.9MB )

Australian Solar Thermal Power Innovation Project an Example of Private Investment Leveraged by Australian Renewable Energy Agency

VAST SOLAR | MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 20 May 2014

Australian solar thermal power innovation company Vast Solar (www.vastsolar.com) announced today it had commenced construction of a 6MWth (1.1MWe) concentrating solar thermal (CST) power pilot plant near Forbes, New South Wales.

The project, which will demonstrate Vast Solar’s low cost, high efficiency CST generation system, is funded by majority private investment with significant support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The first-of-kind project, which includes 3 hours’ thermal storage that will enable the plant to generate electricity day or night on demand, is expected to be operating to supply electricity into the National Energy Market by the end of the year.

Vast Solar’s CEO Andrew Want today said that when completed the Jemalong Solar Thermal Station would be the only standalone solar thermal power plant with thermal energy storage generating power to the grid in Australia.

“Concentrating solar thermal (CST) power is important for Australia and for many sunny regions around the world,” Mr Want said.

Solar thermal power a cost-effective ingredient for powering a hungry grid

A collaborative research study has shown energy derived from concentrating solar thermal power (CST) can be a cost-effective solution to augmenting Australia's power grid, saving almost a $1b in network investment.

With electricity prices rising steeply across the country, the study reveals that CST plants, which provide large-scale energy storage, could reduce the need for new electricity poles and wires and help cut consumer energy bills. At the same time, using CST plants in the national grid could provide a pathway to significant investment in CST in Australia.

The study examined the benefits of installing CST at key points in electricity networks where major network investment is planned to cope with growth in demand or with problems with voltage.

The Australian Solar Thermal Energy Association (AUSTELA) led the research collaboration that included the University of Technology, Sydney's Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), the University of NSW, and Queensland-based Ergon Energy.

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Ivanpah 392 MW concentrated solar project now online

The world's biggest concentrated solar power project is connected to the grid after spending January offline, SolarServer reported. Data analyzed by renewable energy consultant Bernard Chabot shows little power production at the 392 megawatt Ivanpah Solar Thermal Project, which covers 3,500 acres in San Bernardino County in California. Energy firm NRG Energy, tech company Google and CSP firm BrightSource Energy own the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.

Combining thermal and solar energy generation, the Ivanpah project uses over 300,000 mirrors to reflect sunlight to boilers held on three 459-foot towers, the website for the project said.

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Breaking the Solar Gridlock Workshop

Events on solving network constraints and improving the economics of concentrating solar power (CSP)

Receive training on Australian tools designed to assist project developers, financiers, regulators, network planners and engineers with siting CSP plants and evaluate their economic performance, including potential new income streams. Hear from lead researchers, policy makers, network businesses and renewable energy advocates on the status of CSP in Australia and overseas, current projects and funding opportunities, and key findings from two ground breaking ARENA-funded research projects.

Download the Event Flyer for more information 

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Contact Details (2)

Australian Solar Thermal Energy Association Ltd
ACN: 149 005 210
c/o IT Power
PO Box 6127
ACT 2602, Australia