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Solar firms form alliance to advance CSP technology

Alliance aims to increase concentrating solar power plants in the US

The US alliance aims to advance concentrated solar power technology
The US alliance aims to advance concentrated solar power technology

Solar energy firms have announced an alliance to advance CSP developments in the US. Torresol Energy, Abengoa and BrightSource Energy, have formed the Concentrating Solar Power Alliance (CSPA).

CSP technologies use mirrors to concentrate the thermal energy of the sun to drive a conventional steam turbine. The alliance’s mission is to promote the increased acceptance, adoption and implementation of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in the US. It will also promote policies to encourage and advance CSP technology deployment.

The new organisation is also dedicated to educating US regulators, utilities and grid operators about the unique benefits of CSP and of thermal energy storage as a foundational resource for a reliable, low-carbon electricity mix and a driver of economic growth.

Tex Wilkins, executive director of CSP Alliance, said: “Concentrating solar power technology is the only renewable resource that is capable of harnessing the world’s most abundant fuel source, the sun, to produce reliable, cost-effective, and dispatchable electricity. We believe CSP, with the ability to dispatch electricity when it is needed is critical in meeting the energy challenges facing the United States and the world.”

Felicia Bellows, senior vice president of development at Torresol Energy in the US, said: “With this new alliance we expect to promote solar thermal energy as a sustainable source of power and therefore contribute to the protection of the environment for the future generations.”

“From Torresol Energy, we keep working in order to reduce the costs of this clean energy, in order to make it an economically competitive option to traditional sources,” Bellows added. “We are working in new innovations, such as a single-tank storage system or a new generation of high power central tower plants with molten salt receiver technology. We are definitely following the path established last year with the commercial operation of the innovative plant Gemasolar, the first commercial plant in the world with a central tower molten salt receiver.”

The formation of the CSP Alliance builds on the momentum following the creation of the World Solar Thermal Electricity Association (STELAWorld) a consortium of industry associations representing the solar thermal electricity industry in Europe, Australia and South Africa. While independent of STELAWorld, the CSP Alliance will work closely with these associations to further advance the solar thermal industry in the US. and abroad.