EPRI Evaluates Two New Solar Projects
Two Solar Augmentation Projects Target Natural Gas and Coal Plants
- (Nov. 10, 2008) - The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced today
that it will lead two projects to help electric power companies add solar energy
to fossil-fueled electric power plants, reducing fuel costs and plant emissions.
Dynegy Inc. and NV Energy will host case studies at their natural gas combined
cycle facilities with project participants including Salt River Project,
Southern Company and Progress Energy.
Both projects involve adding steam generated by a solar thermal field to a
conventional fossil fuel-powered steam cycle, either to offset some of the coal
or natural gas required to generate electric power or to boost overall plant
power output. The projects will be conducted in parallel, with one focused on
natural gas plant technologies and the other on coal plant technologies. As part
of the natural gas project, case studies will be conducted at Dynegy’s Griffith
Energy Facility in Kingman, Ariz., and at NV Energy’s Chuck Lenzie Generating
Station near Las Vegas.
“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 Bryan Hannegan, vice president of Environment and Generation 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.”
27 states in the U.S. have enacted RPS policies. Some include specific mandates
that a percentage of the requirement be met with solar energy. However,
most current solar applications are not cost-competitive with other power
generating options. Using solar to augment coal or natural gas potentially
is the lowest-cost option for adding solar power to the generation fleet, as it
utilizes existing plant assets. And because 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
These 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 expertise 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.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development
for the global electricity sector. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI
brings together experts from academia and industry as well as its own scientists
and engineers to help address challenges in electricity generation, delivery and
use, including health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent more
than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States,
and international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI's principal
offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.;
Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.
its subsidiaries, Dynegy Inc. (NYSE: DYN) produces and sells electric energy,
capacity and ancillary services in key U.S. markets. The power generation
portfolio consists of more than 18,000 megawatts of baseload, intermediate and
peaking power plants fueled by a mix of natural gas, coal and fuel oil.
in Nevada, Sierra Pacific Resources is a holding company whose principal
subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, are doing
business as NV Energy. Serving a 54,500-square-mile service territory that
stretches north to south from Elko to Laughlin, NV Energy provides a wide range
of energy services and products to approximately 2.4 million citizens of Nevada,
as well as approximately 40 million tourists annually.