Dispatchability is considered essential, and perhaps the most valuable, for electricity systems. Having the ability to adjust energy generation to the demand curve has the benefit of being able to sell electricity to the grid at peak generation hours, with a resulting increase in price, and the ability to compensate for the effects of intermittent sources.
Solar thermal power is dispatchable because it has great thermal inertia that prevents it from ceasing to generate unexpectedly, due to the use of a small percentage of natural gas and thermal storage. In keeping with this, Abengoa Solar is building Solana, a 280 MW plant located in Arizona (USA) that will include six hours of molten salt storage capability.
Another advantage of CSP is that it is able to be combined with conventional power plants to form hybrid plants. Hybridization lowers dependency on conventional fuel and cuts CO2 emissions from natural gas and coal-fueled generating plants.
Abengoa Solar also has extensive experience in designing, building, operating and maintaining hybrid solar-gas plants. In Algeria, the 150 MW Hass-R