Hanas? 2.25-billion-yuan Concentrating Solar Thermal Power Project Sets to Go

Solar power generation is one of the key strategic emerging industries in China. Hanas New Energy Group (Hanas) commenced the construction of its integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC) trough solar power plant in Gaoshawo town, Yanchi county, Ningxia, China on October 12, 2011. Zhao Xiaoping, vice chairman of Ningxia, Taoyuan, vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) of Ningxia, and Ma Fuqiang, president of Hanas, attended the groundbreaking ceremony. The National Energy Administration also sent a message of congratulations. The project represents the first ISCC trough solar demonstration project in Asia.

Concentrated solar power is widely recognized as a clean, efficient, stable and reliable technology, which just takes shape in China. Technology improvement and the setup of an entire industry system will further consolidate the technology’s cost advantage, making it an important way to use solar power. The ISCC power station, invested by Hanas and constructed in collaboration with North China Power Engineering and Siemens, is expected to go operational in October 2013. With an investment of RMB2.25 billion (approx. US$346 million) and planned capacity of 92.5MW, the power station represents an alternative to the traditional trough solar power generation by adding storage facilities and co-operating with combustion turbines for maximizing utilization of solar power resources. The power station is of great significance in terms of strategic development and innovation in China‘s solar power generation sector.

The project integrates trough concentrating solar thermal generators with gas turbine generators to create the trough ISCC system, which enhances the energy utilization efficiency as it increases the thermal efficiency by 70% to 80%, by fully using solar energy as the source of low and medium temperature heating, and high temperature flue gas generated by natural gas power generation as the source of high temperature heating.

In particular, the project’s system output changes are consistent with grid peaks and dips and are closer to the traditional thermal power generation, allowing for easier grid connection and management. The system is operated at a load of between 30% and 100% everyday, reducing frequent interrupts and extending the lifetime of units through adjusting the output value.

The completion of the project will be the full realization of the coordinated development between renewable energy and clean energy, helping to enhance local energy structure, improve power quality, meet electricity demand across Ningxia and improve local integrated energy system. “The kick-off of the Hanas project marks the autonomous region which is marching forward to the new solar power technology,” the National Energy Administration said in a letter of congratulation. “The project will serve as an important model for the design, construction, operation and management of concentrating solar thermal power projects in China, and position itself as a solar thermal power demonstration project with sophisticated technology and good economy.”