The value of Concentrating Solar Power storage

Main themes for the session will include:

– Will utilities pay more for electricity from CSP plants with storage?
– What are the main drivers today on utility interest in storage?
– Does thermal storage actually reduce LCOE?
– Is it possible to make a standalone thermal storage system to enable electricity storage?

Justin Raade, CEO, HALOTECHNICS INC., will be serving as the panel moderator. Halotechnics develops advanced thermal storage technology that enables concentrating solar power plants to generate energy 24 hours a day. The company is specifically targeting new high-temperature storage materials in the molten salt and molten glass family for CSP storage applications.

We asked Justin to talk about some of the hot-button issues concerning CSP storage, and what conference-goers can expect from the panel.

In your opinion, what are the latest developments, opportunities and challenges in CSP storage technology?

Thermal storage is CSP’s killer app. We are seeing increasing public dialogue regarding the value of thermal storage. Thermal storage has the capability to address short term intermittency as well as shifting output to periods of peak demand. Recent studies and articles by the New York Times, NREL, PNNL, and others have illustrated the need for thermal storage to complement the deployment of intermittent renewables. (note this content is in the above table and should not be repeated. Select where you want it to be -ATS)

What would be the next step in applications for the resulting advancements?

The near term value of storage is for short bursts (a few minutes of storage to eliminate intermittency). Medium term is for shifting output to periods of peak demand (a few hours of storage). The long term vision is for 24/7 power from the sun (15 hours of storage or more).

Can you give us a preview of the topics you will present at the 2012 edition of the Concentrating Solar Thermal Power conference?
Pushing thermal storage to higher temperatures can dramatically reduce its cost. This lower cost, as well as good reliability, high cycle life, and high efficiency give thermal storage big advantages relative to batteries for bulk scale applications.

What are you looking forward to hearing at the Conference?
I want to hear about how the industry plans to finance and install the next round of plants after the current crop is built out and commissioned.