Utility-Scale Concentrating Solar Power Programs
Solar energy planners are focusing on utility-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) programs with power-generating capacity ranging from 35 to 50 MW. This CSP power system deploys small commercial mirrors and heliostats to minimize system installation cost. The CSP scheme offers more benefits over traditional solar energygenerating technology. The small mirrors used by the CSP plants are capable of tracking the sun within an accuracy of 卤0.25 degrees and reflect the solar energy to a tower-mounted receiver sensor, as illustrated in Figure 8.1. The receiver or the boiler converts the water to steam, which powers the turbo-alternator set to generate electricity compatible with grid voltage and frequency requirements. This CSP system makes the renewable energy cost competitive with fossil-based energygenerating systems. A CSP system with generating capacity of 50 MW occupies roughly 160 acres of land and provides a cost-effective solution. A high capacity CSP system can be scaled up to 500 MW or higher using multiple small units to meet the specific power requirements.