CSP Guide

Fichtner Solar

Engineering, Consulting

Fichtner Solar GmbH was founded in 1999 by Georg Brakmann together with Fichtner GmbH & Co KG as an independent company within the Fichtner Group.

Since then FichtnerSolar has been involved in a large number of project developments for solar (thermal and PV) power plants worldwide. Engineers working with FichtnerSolar today have been significantly involved in the development and promotion of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology for more than 25 years. With this experience and its excellent national and international contacts to CSP experts and industries worldwide FichtnerSolar can offer a broad range of services in the area of CSP.

Today FichtnerSolar GmbH is the world leading independent consulting engineering company for solar thermal power plants and has provided engineering services for thirty large solar power plant projects in twelve countries on five continents. The total investment volume of the projects we have consulted exceeds € 5 billion, thereof € 1.2 billion for four large solar power plants under construction.

Competence and Experience

While working in the field of solar power for many years FichtnerSolar has not only consulted in large commercial solar power plant projects, but also worked closely with government agencies and research institutions. For example, FichtnerSolar advised the German Government on all aspects of the German national sponsored R&D Program for Solar Thermal Power Plants (2000- 2004). The program included ten R&D projects for different solar technologies; of which one was the SKAL-ET project.

The SKAL-ET project included design improvements of the EuroTrough collector as well as the installation and operation of a complete SKAL-ET test loop (as a replacement of an existing LS-3 loop) at one of the SEGS plants. As a result of this experience, FichtnerSolar has developed a detailed understanding of all matters concerning the design, the cost and the performance related to both collector designs (the SKAL-ET as well as the LS-3 type collector), in circumstances of actual commercial operation.

FichtnerSolar GmbH is internationally recognized for its excellence in solar engineering and together with Fichtner for conventional power plant engineering, in particular for integrating solar power with conventional power plants. FichtnerSolar has developed its own Solar Performance Calculation Software (SOLPRO) and refined the method of calculating the solar generation cost and CO2, NOx and SO2 avoidance cost. The calculation software and methods have been extensively discussed with GEF, the World Bank and KFW and have been accepted by international financing organizations in determining the amount of GEF grants (in the order of 200 mln $ for the four GEF solar thermal power plants).

During recent years, FichtnerSolar has been involved in most of the important new solar power plant projects, and has thereby gained further competence. It has developed strong databases that cover all aspects of solar power plant engineering. Furthermore, FichtnerSolar is part of the Fichtner Group and manages all activities related to solar power within the Group. Accordingly, FichtnerSolar has access to all expertise and general know-how held by other members of the Fichtner Group and can value-add to all services it provides.

Fichtner is the largest German independent consulting engineering company specializing in all activities regarding energy, environment, infrastructure and information technologies. Fichtner was founded in 1922 in Germany and since then has been active in providing public utilities, industrial firms and government agencies with professional engineering services. Fichtner has been involved in solar energy projects for more than 25 years.

The Fichtner group includes 20 subsidiary companies which were founded in order to specialize in particular technologies (like solar energy) or in order to establish a local presence in a number of countries. During a period of more than 80 years of activity, Fichtner has conducted projects in over 100 countries on six continents. Fichtner Germany has a permanent staff of approximately 500, whereof 80% are highly qualified and experienced engineers and scientists. Worldwide, the total strength of the Fichtner Group amounts to more than 1400 staff.

Fichtner covers the complete range of engineering services from energy supply studies, technical and economic feasibility studies, site evaluation studies and system optimizations, to pre-project planning, project financing, conceptual design, specifications, bid evaluations, contract negotiations, project management, technical assistance and supervision of detail design, erection, installation, start-up and operation and due diligence studies for financing institutions. The sizes of its projects range from small cogeneration plants up to large power plants, electrification projects and desalination plants including investment volumes in the order of several billion dollars.

Fichtner´s references in the power sector include the engineering services for:

    400 large thermal power plants (total capacity 90 000 MW)
    Power transmission/distribution projects (30 000 km line length, 0.200 - 500 kV)
    Commercialization in the power sector
    Due diligence consultancy services and project evaluations for privatization, mergers and acquisitions, IPP projects, organizational restructuring projects
    Activities of independent owner's and lender's engineer

Through these activities Fichtner is very experienced in the relevant technologies and has well-established relationships with the important suppliers. Nevertheless, Fichtner is a completely independent company, the capital being fully in the hands of the Fichtner family and its senior employees. We can therefore make recommendations exclusively in the interest of our Clients without having to consider special interests from third parties.

Milestones in CSP Technology

After the construction of the last CSP plant in California in 1990, no larger solar power plant projects were realized for many years, until, in early 1999, the World Bank/GEF provided a grant of US$ 200 million for four Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC) power plants. Shortly after this announcement, a worldwide discussion began on the thermodynamic sense of this integration, known as the "ISCC-Crisis". The World Bank considered cancelling the projects, until finally FichtnerSolar was appointed by the German KFW. Successively, FichtnerSolar convinced all parties of its concept to integrate solar heat into combined cycle power plants. Through this effort it finally became feasible to develop four ISCC power plants.

Consequently, FichtnerSolar was in the forefront position for being appointed as Consulting Engineer in these projects and FichtnerSolar won the international competition for the Engineering Consultancy Services for three out of the four GEF supported ISCC plants (India, Morocco and Egypt). In 2007 FichtnerSolar has completed the "EPC-Contracts ready to be signed" for the 400 MWe ISCC (20MWe solar portion) in Morocco, and for the Solar Island and the Combined Cycle Island of the 150 MWe ISCC (20MWe solar portion) in Egypt.

Contact data:
Fichtner Solar GmbH
Visitor's address:
Heilbronnerstraße 190
70191 Stuttgart

Mail address:
Sarweystraße 3
70191 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 - 711 - 8995 - 1870
Fax: +49 - 711 - 8995 - 1880
Link to website: Link