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May 5, 2008

Mtg: Past, Present and Future of Solar Thermal Generation

by @ 8:20 am. Filed under ALL, Electrical/Power

SF Power Engineering Chapter
Speaker: Bruce Kelly, P.E.
Time: Lunch and Presentation at Noon
Cost: Free for IEEE members, $5 for non-members
Place: Pacific Gas & Electric Office, 77 Beale St. Room 305, San Francisco
RSVP: by email to Anupama Pandey,, 415-369-1096


In response to the energy crisis of the early 1970â??s, the US Department of Energy initiated a range of R&D activities in central receiver, parabolic trough, and dish Stirling solar thermal technologies. The most ambitious of the DOE activities was the 10 MWe, $150 million Solar One central receiver power plant near Barstow, California. Powerful tax incentives in the 1980â??s led to the private financing and construction of 9 parabolic trough projects in the California Mojave Desert. In the 1990â??s, the DOE and several Southwest utilities cooperatively financed a retrofit of the Solar One central receiver project to an advanced, nitrate salt technology.

Today, several privately-financed parabolic trough projects are under development, driven by a favorable combination of a 30 percent investment tax credit and utility renewable portfolio standards.

In the future, technical developments could include large (>100 MWe) nitrate salt central receiver power plants, and the use of inorganic coolants in parabolic trough collector fields.


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