Concentrated solar thermal power plants require very specific conditions to operate, including a minimum direct normal radiation of 1,800 kWh/m2/year, a specific range of land gradients and water availability are just a few environmental considerations.
Therefore this limits the most ideal CSP locations to areas within Nevada, Arizona and California. Currently each of these States are a bed of CSP activity with 5 solar thermal plants in construction; Ivanpah, Solana, Mojave, Cresent Dunes and Genesis.
Therefore it is important for stakeholders in the CSP industry to play an active role to promote State policy changes in order to secure the future of CSP developments in these ‘CSP hotspots’. The formation of the CSP Alliance is now set to be the industry’s voice to advocate and promote the interests of the CSP industry with each state’s energy and economy needs. Recently NREL published a detailed paper on ‘The Value of Concentrating Solar Power and Thermal Energy Storage’ as a tool to educate everyone.
Also CSP Today are organising the 6th Concentrated Solar Power Conference which will bring key policy makers and create a dialogue between the industry and State energy decision makers. Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon of California Public Utilities Commission is confirmed to be the keynote speaker and Edward Randloph, Director, Energy Division from California Public Utilities Commission will join a policy led panel session.
Other state representatives confirmed include Stacey Crowley, Director, Office of Energy Nevada, Commissioner Sandra Kennedy from Arizona Corporation Commission, and policy advisors from Nevada Public Utilities Commission.