The award recognizes FichtnerSolar’s innovation and excellence in engineering for the Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC) Technology. By this technology the solar power generation is combined with a conventional combined cycle power plant. FichtnerSolar was able to optimize the technical integration parameters and thereby obtained improved overall efficiency of power generation and an overall reduction of its cost and environmental impact.
"FichtnerSolar’s commitment toward improving power generation methods has been demonstrated through its efforts in integrating technologies and processes," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Celine Paton. "Its integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC) technology provides a more efficient method for improving power generation, without rapidly creating redundancies through the decommissioning of functional power plants that emit large quantities of carbon."
The excellence in solar engineering demonstrated by FichtnerSolar clearly distinguishes the company from its competitors. Georg Brakmann’s extensive political lobbying for the ISCC technology in the nineties resulted in a program by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) of the World Bank to sponsor four (4) initial ISCC projects with an amount of 50 million USD each. The engineering for these projects were internationally tendered. Due to its high prestige these tenders drew very large interest from many well established engineering companies worldwide. FichtnerSolar did win three (Morocco, Egypt and India) of these four projects and established itself as the world’s leading consulting engineering company for concentring solar thermal power plants.
Two of these projects (the ISCC Ain Beni Mathar in Morocco and the ISCC Kuraymat in Egypt) have been completed and are in commercial operation since September 2010 and June 2011, respectively. They are worldwide the first solar power plants of the ISCC technology. The ISCC Ain Beni Mathar has a total capacity of 472 MW and the ISCC Kuraymat has a total capacity of 150 MW. The solar power components of each plant have each a capacity of 20 MW, sufficient to avoid some 33 000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
"The fact that electricity generated by renewable energy sources is intermittent by nature and is difficult to store is a clear impediment to its large-scale implementation", notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Celine Paton. "In the case of ISCC, gas-fired thermal units produce a continuous and stable flow of power, compensating for periods with no or inadequate irradiation, meaning that only a part of the power plant (the solar component) would not be in use. By decreasing their reliance on one form of technology, power generators can consequently optimize power production while reducing their costs."
FichtnerSolar has performed the complete engineering services for the Moroccan and Egyptian projects, including site evaluation, technical and economic feasibility studies, cost and technical performance analysis, financing studies, conceptual design, preparation of specification and tender documents for the contractors, and selection of contractors. In a second phase FichtnerSolar checked and verified the contractor’s detail design, fabrication, construction and erection of the plants and certified the completion and the performance tests. Currently FichtnerSolar is still involved in the plant’s operation by providing extended warranty support to the owners.
Through its work on these projects FichtnerSolar could assemble the most formidable data bank in the whole CSP industry; it includes detailed technical and cost information of every system and component of actually built solar thermal power plants from different suppliers. FichtnerSolar are independent consultants, not linked to any supplier’s or political interest.
"We are giving completely unbiased advice, founded upon experience and knowledge, solely in the interest of our clients. Our credo is: Excellence in Solar Engineering", notes Georg Brakmann, Managing Director of FichtnerSolar. "We believe in our work and trust in our technology; we put our money where our mouth is: We have developed, engineered, financed, procured, constructed, erected and are operating our own small PV solar power plant in Spain. Thereby we are avoiding more CO2 emissions than we are emitting through our professional activities: FichtnerSolar is a Zero-Emission-Company."
Already in 2003 Georg Brakmann formulated his vision: "Solar Thermal Electricity for 100 million people by 2025". This can be accomplished e.g. by 500 concentrated solar power plants of 80 MWe capacity each, generating 100 TWh/y of clean solar electricity. The plants would offer a sustainable investment opportunity of 100 billion EUR and they could be built upon a 40 km x 40 km equivalent total land area. In 2003 this vision was considered as utopian by many, but today it seems that reality will exceed these most ambitious dreams.
As recipient of the Green Excellence in Technology Innovation Award, FichtnerSolar is acknowledged for its exceptionally environment-friendly technology profile and business commitment as well as its demonstration of environmental accountability.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
FichtnerSolar GmbH was founded in 1999 by Georg Brakmann with Fichtner GmbH & Co KG as an independent company within the Fichtner Group. FichtnerSolar did pioneering work in the technical development as well as political lobbying and project development for the CSP technology (Concentrating Solar Power). FichtnerSolar has provided engineering consulting services for 35 large solar thermal power plant projects on six continents. The total investment volume of projects consulted by FichtnerSolar exceeds six billion euro, thereof some two billion euro for seven large solar thermal power plants which are under construction or already being successfully operated. To date, FichtnerSolar can be considered as the world leader in independent consulting engineering for concentrating solar thermal power plants.