Solar Augmentation Project Set at NM Plant

Staff | September 28, 2010

Palo Alto, CA— The Electric Power Research Institute has launched the second of two projects 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 case study analyses will be performed by WorleyParsons Group Inc.

This project, and a parallel study launched in October 2008 at natural gas-fueled facilities, involves adding steam generated by a solar thermal field to a conventional fossil fuel-powered steam cycle to offset some of the fuel required to generate electric power. As part of the coal project, case studies will be conducted at Tri-State's 245-megawatt Escalante Generating Station in Prewitt, NM, and at Progress Energy's 742-MW Mayo Plant in Roxboro, NC.

The projects will provide a conceptual design study and two detailed case studies. Design options to retrofit existing plants will be analyzed, and new plant design options will be identified. EPRI will rely on its experience in solar technologies, steam cycles and plant operation, as well as past solar and fossil plant studies. EPRI holds two patents in solar steam cycle optimization.