EPRI to evaluate solar
KEYWORD: EPRI The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has launched a project to help electric power companies add solar energy to fossil-fueled electric power plants, reducing fuel costs and plant emissions. Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Inc., Progress Energy and Southern Company are participating in the project.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has launched a project to help electric power companies add solar energy to fossil-fueled electric power plants, reducing fuel costs and plant emissions. Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Inc., Progress Energy and Southern Company are participating in the project.
This project, as well as a parallel study launched in October, 2008, involve adding steam generated by a solar thermal field to a conventional fossil fuel-powered steam cycle to offset electric power generation fuel requirements. Studies will be conducted at Tri-State’s 245 MW Escalante Generating Station in Prewitt, NM and at Progress Energy’s 742 MW Mayo Plant in Roxboro, NC.
“These projects will demonstrate a near-term and cost-effective way to use large amounts of solar energy at commercial scale to provide clean electric power,” said Dr. Bryan Hannegan, vice president of Generation and Environment at EPRI. “These 'hybrid power plants’ will combine the low-cost reliability of existing fossil power plants with the environmental benefit of renewables, and help companies meet federal and state mandates to reduce their emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases with renewable energy.”
Using solar to augment coal or natural gas makes sense because it uses existing plant assets. Also, since the highest-intensity solar energy typically is within a few hours of peak summer loads, it makes solar-augmented steam cycles a particularly attractive renewable energy option.
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