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Nuts and Bolts of Technology: Closer Look at Utility-Scale Solar Power. January 26, 2011. BSE Overview. Proven, Environmentally-Responsible Technology : Highest temperature and pressure solar steam Dry-cooling reduces water use Environmentally-friendly design.

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Nuts and Bolts of Technology:

Closer Look at

Utility-Scale Solar Power

January 26, 2011


BSE Overview

Proven, Environmentally-Responsible Technology:

  • Highest temperature and pressure solar steam
  • Dry-cooling reduces water use
  • Environmentally-friendly design
  • Successful Pilot and Demonstration Projects:
  • SEDC Pilot generating ~100% of modeled energy at ~97% availability; exceeded 6MW design point by ~20%
  • Chevron Demonstration Solar-to-Steam for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) nearly complete (solar field 95% erected, tower erection complete; boiler erection in process, SFINCS control system onsite)

World Class Team:

  • Includes the key senior managers of Luz Int’l., which designed & built over 350 MW of solar thermal plants in the 1980’s
  • Project development team with over 20GW power projects developed, constructed, and managed
  • Robust Commercial Pipeline & Project Dev.:
  • 2.6GWs of signed PPAs with PG&E and SCE
  • Ivanpah ~400MW Electric for PG&E and SCE
    • Bechtel as EPC and Investor
    • Siemens Turbine/Riley Boiler
    • $1.37B DOE loan guarantee
    • ITC cash grant eligible
    • NRG Energy lead project investor
  • Shortlisted for a project in Israel
  • Selected and approved for a project in Crete

Luz Power Tower (LPT 550) Technology





Power Block

lpt technology to meet evolving performance needs
LPT: Technology to Meet Evolving Performance Needs

Inexpensive, high-performance thermal storage

Flexible, high-quality steam


High-performance conventional turbine

High-temperature, high-pressure steam

Dispatchable, Shaped Output


Grid Support / Reliability Services


Maximum RPS

(w/o tradeoffs)

Natural gas augmentation


Low-impact Design : Fitting the Natural Environment

  • Plant Design:
    • Maximizes retention of existing vegetation, land contours & natural features
    • Solar field does not require concrete foundations, and grading and leveling is extremely limited
  • Mirrors on pylons placed directly in the ground to fit natural contours of area, without need for foundations
  • Vegetation in the solar field will co-exist below the mirrors, trimmed so mirrors can track the sun
  • Soils and vegetation disturbed during construction and operation will be restored

Low Impact Design – Limited Water Use

  • Water Use: Dry-cooling, Conservation & Closed-loop recycling
  • Uses air instead of water to condense steam
  • 95% less water use when compared to CSP using traditional wet-cooling
  • Uses 25 times less water than
  • competing trough technologies
  • Uses less than 100 acre feet per year;
  • equal to 300 homes worth of water
  • Closed-loop steam cycle &
  • conservation measures further reduce usage
  • Efficiency trade-off: Additional costs incurred by using dry-cooling are merited by environmental benefits

Wet CSP/Conventional Cooling vs. Dry CSP Cooling

*Source: California Energy Commission

^Source: Nuclear, Coal and Combined Cycle numbers from World Economic Forum report - Thirsty Energy: Water and Energy in the 21st Century


1999 Harrison St., Ste 2150

Suite 2150

Oakland, CA 94612