Hybrid technologiesProject Port Augusta Solar Thermal Feasibility Study
A report on the options for six types of solar thermal technologies to be installed at or near Alinta’s Augusta Power Station, including solar resource and cost assessments.
Alinta Energy (Alinta) has commissioned Parsons Brinckerhoff to undertake a pre-feasibility study assessing the technology options for concentrating solar power (CSP) electricity generation at or nearby the existing Port Augusta Power Stations. This document presents an options study of the possible CSP technologies, their potential for hybridisation with the existing Port Augusta Power Stations, and a ±30 % estimate of capital and operating costs for each option.
Parsons Brinckerhoff found that a 50 MW1 standalone solar thermal generation plant in the vicinity of the Port Augusta Power Stations using commercially available technology is technically feasible. In addition, it was found that a solar thermal hybrid station supplying steam to Northern Power Station is technically feasible using a number of different CSP technologies.
While there are a number of different CSP technologies under development, three have emerged which attract the bulk of the industry interest, these being parabolic trough, power tower and linear Fresnel collectors. All three of these technologies were assessed for use at Port Augusta, and found to be technically appropriate. All use large arrays of mirrors that track and concentrate solar irradiation to produce steam which is used to either supplement an existing turbine or fully supply a conventional steam turbine generator set to generate electricity.
Thermal energy storage using molten salt was assessed for use in conjunction with the parabolic trough and power tower standalone plant CSP technologies. As a linear Fresnel plant produces steam directly (i.e. without the use of an intermediate heat transfer fluid), energy storage is complex and not currently available for this technology. The cost of adding thermal energy storage is strongly influenced by the operating temperature range of the molten salt system. This leads to thermal energy storage being far more attractive for use with a power tower plant than a parabolic trough due to its ~ 170 ˚C higher operating temperature.