CSP pros unveil SolStor Energy: US’s long-duration storage solution.

By Oliver Townsend May 28, 2024
CSP experts launch SolStor Energy: long-duration storage for the US.pngOrginal image from: https://www.solarpaces.org/csp-experts-launch-solstor-energy-long-duration-storage-for-the-us/

SolStor Energy, a new US development company, has been launched by a team of industry experts to deploy concentrating solar power (CSP) with thermal energy storage (TES) to supply energy from the sun at night. This innovative approach focuses on delivering electricity after-dark from thermal energy storage, complementing photovoltaic (PV) systems in the new 100% renewable grid. The team at SolStor Energy, including Fred Morse, David Kearney, and Xavier Lara, who have been individually recognized with the SolarPACES Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to CSP, are dedicated to addressing the growing markets for nighttime energy.

Evolution of CSP in the U.S.

The history of CSP in the U.S. has seen two distinct generations driven by varying market conditions. The first generation, dating back to the 1980s and 1990s, was influenced by the oil embargo of the 1970s and the country’s push for energy diversity and independence. This era saw the emergence of CSP projects such as those at Kramer Junction and Daggett in California. The second generation, occurring in the 2000s and 2010s, was shaped by state-driven Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), with PV becoming the preferred choice due to its declining costs.

CSP’s Role in the Renewable Grid

While PV remains the cost-effective choice for generating electricity during the day, CSP plays a crucial role in providing energy when PV resources are less suitable, especially during nighttime hours. As utilities increasingly adopt batteries for short-duration storage, the need for long-duration energy storage becomes more apparent. SolStor Energy aims to address this gap by developing CSP configurations that offer longer duration energy storage, akin to traditional gas plants.

Future Outlook for CSP

With ambitious renewable energy targets set by states like California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona, the demand for CSP is on the rise. The goal of achieving 100% carbon-free power generation by 2045 requires reliable and sustainable energy sources like CSP. The firm’s strategic focus on incorporating long-duration energy storage aligns with the evolving energy landscape and the shift towards decarbonization.

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