CSP Library

The Value of Concentrating Solar Power and Thermal Energy Storage

Publishing date: February 2010

This paper examines the value of concentrating solar power (CSP) and thermal energy storage (TES) in four regions in the southwestern United States. Our analysis shows that TES can increase the value of CSP by allowing more thermal energy from a CSP plant’s solar field to be used, by allowing a CSP plant to accommodate a larger solar field, and by allowing CSP generation to be shifted to hours with higher energy prices. We analyze the sensitivity of CSP value to a number of factors, including the optimization period, price and solar forecasting, ancillary service sales, capacity value and dry cooling of the CSP plant. We also discuss the value of CSP plants and TES net of capital costs.


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