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Join Date: Nov 2012
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24/7 Solar?

09/08/2016 1:32 PM

The recently completed Crescent Dunes concentrating solar project in Nevada is the first plant with the ability to store energy for more than 10 hours. It's also the first project to use heliostats to directly heat molten salt, which is used to produced steam to run turbines, producing on-demand electricity after the sun sets.

I'm always skeptical of the possibility of scaling projects like these. According to this article about Crescent Dunes, the price of concentrating solar is down to around 10 or 12 cents per KW-h, which is theoretically cheaper than a PV project using multiple batteries to achieve the same 10-hour storage. Utility-scale PV is still significantly cheaper, at around 5 cents per KW-h for a typical PPA.

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Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 11508
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#1

Re: 24/7 Solar?

09/09/2016 4:58 PM

I think the technology has been around for a good, long while. I am still waiting for the new Breeder Reactors using the fuel (that can be spent nuclear fission fuel) already dissolved in the molten salt, with all the new safety features of such a reactor.

The new reactors can apparently use up about 95% of the spent fuel, rending it much less hot (radioactively speaking).

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