New Energy Update

Australian CSP farm build starts; Brazil calls for solar thermal projects; New trough mirror responds to molten salt growth

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Source: New Energy Update

Aalborg CSP begins build on 50 MW Australian farm project

Denmark’s Aalborg CSP has started construction of the world’s first Integrated Energy System based on Concentrated Solar Power, located in the South Australian desert.

The project involves a custom-built CSP tower system with a capacity of 50-MW, which will serve the energy needs of Sundrop Farms’ greenhouses. Aalborg CSP is turnkey supplier of the plant which will be commissioned in the second half of 2016, the company said October 12.

The plant will provide multiple energy streams (heating, fresh water and electricity) for horticultural activities. In the first phase, a 51,500m² solar field consisting of more than 23,000 heliostats will be installed.

“The heliostats will collect the sun’s rays and reflect them onto the top of a 116m high solar tower. The collected solar energy will be converted to steam which will then be used for multiple purposes, including seawater desalination, heating and electricity production,” Aalborg said.

Brazil calls for CSP projects

The Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (Aneel) invited proposals September 28 for CSP research and development projects, according to media reports.

The CSP program was developed in partnership with GIZ, the German government-owned international development agency.

Companies have 90 days to express their interest and 180 days to start the projects, typically in partnership with local universities. Projects must then be completed within four years.

Aneel is aiming to test Brazil's CSP potential, train researchers and workers, experiment with different technologies, combine with industrial processes, discover the best sites and reduce costs.

Separately, Brazil’s Center for Energy Research announced October 2 that the Petrolina CSP Project was expected to be operational by 2017.

The 1 MW-plant is part of the Plataforma complex, which includes a PV demonstration plant.

Flabeg launches stronger trough mirror to respond to molten salt growth

Germany’s Flabeg has launched its next generation parabolic trough mirror, increasing the mechanical resistance to more than 3 times higher than previous models and providing characteristic bending strength equivalent to a tempered mirror.

“With this new development FLABEG FE is ready for the next stage of parabolic trough technology with larger aperture systems focusing the light on small diameter absorber tubes for molten salt applications. The need for collectors and their components is reduced, making further cost savings possible,' said in a statement September 18.

The trough mirror has a solar reflectivity of more than 94.5%, Flabeg said.

Funding change approved for Chile’s Atacama 1 CSP-PV project

The Clean Technology Fund has approved an amendment to the financial terms of US$66.12 million in loans for Abengoa’s Atacama 1 CSP-PV hybrid project in Chile.

The amendment raises the percentage of CTF funding which can be subordinated from 50% to 100%, and subordination applies to payments as well as security.

The changes came in response to a request made by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

According to IADB, Atacama 1’s PV and CSP plants share certain facilities and contractual obligations which mean the joint development results in cost savings and a combined energy offer that enhances its commercial viability.

While these projects were originally planned to be financed separately, IADB said that joint financing by a single group of lenders would result in a more efficient structure from a legal and financial point of view.

As a result, while the use of proceeds from the CTF and other lenders’ financing will be targeted to the CSP plant, the source of repayment will be the revenues of the combined CSP and PV facilities.

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