Four CSP projects awarded by EU with €203.3 M under the NER300 programme

Published on: Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Eurodish - Paraboloc dish Stirling at the PSA in Spain

The European Commission has approved over €1.2 billion to fund 23 innovative renewable energy demonstration projects under the first call for proposals for the NER300 funding programme.

The projects cover a wide range of renewable technologies, from bioenergy (including advanced biofuels), concentrated solar power and geothermal power, to wind power, ocean energy and distributed renewable management (smart grids).

Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: "This year Christmas has come early - today's Decision is a major milestone in EU climate policy. The NER300 programme is in effect a 'Robin Hood' mechanism that makes polluters pay for large-scale demonstration of new low-carbon technologies. The €1.2 billion of grants – paid by the polluters - will leverage a further €2 billion of private investment in the 23 selected low-carbon demonstration projects. This will help the EU keep its frontrunner position on renewables and create jobs here and now, in the EU."

Regarding Concentrated Solar Power technology, four projects have been awarded. Two projects for tower plants and two for parabolic dish-Stirling plants. Only one CSP project has not been included, the Arquetype 30+ proposed by Italy

The four CSP projects awarded

HeliosPower: has been awarded with €46.6 M - Cyprus

The Project is a large-scale Stirling dish power plant with a total installed capacity of 50.76 MWe, located on the eastern side of Cyprus, near the city of Larnaca. The Stirling dish unit consists of a cavity receiver that captures the concentrated solar irradiation from the parabolic-shaped reflector, a free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) that converts the solar energy to electricity and a closed loop air-driven cooling system. The plant is expected to have 16920 Stirling dish units. The total field area required for the Project is around 200 ha. High voltage 132 kV power lines, which run along the southern boundary of the site, will be used to connect the plant to the national grid.

Maximus: has been awarded €44.6 M - Greece

The Project is a large-scale Stirling dish power plant with a total installed capacity of 75.3 MWe, located in the north west of Greece in the region of Florina. The plant consists of 25160 Stirling dish units, each of the 3 kW rated power output. The plant is composed of 37 small power plants of modular design, built on different land plots, which will be connected to the grid via a single connection point. The Stirling dish unit consists of a cavity receiver that captures the concentrated solar irradiation from the parabolic-shaped reflector, a free- piston Stirling engine (FPSE) that converts the solar energy to electricity and a closed loop air driven cooling system. The concentrator is mounted on a structure with a two-axis tracking system to follow the sun.

Minos: has been awarded €42.1 M - Greece

The Project concerns the implementation and operation of a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant based on central tower technology with a nominal electrical capacity of 50 MWe that will be built in the southeast of Crete. The Project intends to use heliostat mirrors to concentrate the sun irradiation on a solar receiver placed on the top of a tower. The tower system will be based on innovative superheated steam technology in order to increase the efficiency of the present plants with tower technology and saturated steam. The Project will be located adjacent to the existing power plant of Atherinolakos. The planned site has a size of approx. 143 ha, only 500 m from the sea, at an elevation between 50 and 100 m above sea level. No storage system is envisaged and the back-up energy is supplied by a conventional diesel boiler.

PTC50-Alvarado: has been awarded €70 M - Spain

The Project concerns the implementation and operation of a 50 MW central tower concentrating solar power (CSP) plant using superheated steam. The plan will be located 15 km southeast of the city of Badajoz in Spain. The main technical solution of the Project is based on the conversion of primary solar energy into electrical energy, by means of a field of large tracking plain mirrors (heliostats), which reflect the solar radiation to a common focal point onto a solar thermal receiver mounted at the top of a central tower. It also implies the use of a conventional water steam power cycle (Power Island). The plant includes high capacity molten nitrate salt thermal energy storage system, as well as it integrates the hybridization with biomass and natural gas, in order to improve the manageability and overall efficiency of the plant.

About NER300 programme

The NER300 funding programme is implemented by the European Commission with the collaboration of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the project selection, the sale of 300 million carbon allowances from the EU Emissions Trading System and the management of revenues.

Projects will receive funding on an annual basis, based on proven performance. For the RES projects, this will depend on the amount of clean energy produced each year for the first five years following entry into operation. In recognition of the risks associated with such first-of-a-kind projects, only 75% of the targeted performance has to be achieved to receive full funding under the award decision. Annual funding payments are also conditional on specific knowledge sharing requirements.

Under NER300, project sponsors who receive financing from the programme must report and share information on technical set-up and performance, costs, project management, environmental impact and any potential health and safety issues related to the project. The European Commission will check that information provided is complete and adequate.

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