The solar thermal energy plant, Crescent Dunes, is a step nearer to generating clean power from the Nevada desert sun. The company has indeed made the announcement that its 165 metres receiver tower was already completed.
In accordance to SolarReserve, Crescent Dunes power plant will surely become the country’s primary commercial-scale solar energy facility that would have completely integrated the storage of molten salt energy. Crescent Dunes has a capacity of 110 MW. Such an amount of power is sufficient to supply electricity equal to 75000 houses. The latter will moreover be the biggest solar energy plant of this type in the whole world.
Systems put in place for the storage of molten salt permit solar farms to produce energy overnight through the storage of heat that is collected throughout the day in tanks that contain a specific kind of salt. The gathered heat is subsequently used for the production of steam which in turn drives the turbines.
As stated by SolarReserve, this technology of molten salt that has been developed by the United States and currently being used by Crescent Dunes has the capability to store power for approximately ten to fifteen hours; thus resolving the problem of intermittent energy production to the grid.
ACS Cobra, a solar energy developer and SolarReserve jointly own Crescent Dunes. Sponsorship by the United States’ Department of Energy’s credit guarantee scheme as well as the investment money obtained from the banking firm Santander along with a twenty year energy purchase agreement concluded with NV Energy guaranteed the project’s progress.
The construction of this massive power tower started in last September. A solar receiver will be placed on the top of the tower for the collection of heat that is reflected by a great number of heliostat arrays found all through the desert floor.
Crescent Dunes is being hailed as a revolution as far as it concerns Nevadan employment. It will bring about six hundred employments anticipated in site through the construction period of thirty months.
It is estimated that 4300 jobs; induced, indirect and direct, will be created in companies right through the United States, those that are in engineering, manufacturing, equipment supply, transportation as well as other varied value-adding services.
SolarReserve stated that at the moment it becomes operational, the project will spent above ten million US dollar yearly in terms of operating costs and salaries. It is even forecasted that it will generate forty seven million US dollar in terms of total tax income during the initial ten years of business.
There are other plants which are currently making use of the storage of molten salt energy. However, none is as big as Crescent Dunes will become. The Gemasolar project is very first completely operational solar farm, used on a commercial scale, in the world to offer baseload energy on a 24 hour basis.
Source: Energy Matters