Abengoa has been selected by the US Department of Energy to develop a new solar storage technology for thermo-electric plants.
The two-year, €1.3 million program is being undertaken with the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM).
Abengoa will be responsible for leading the systems integration work and the technical-financial analysis, focusing on the commercial potential of this technology in future solar plant projects.
The capacity to generate electricity on demand, making it manageable, is one of the most important characteristics of solar-thermal energy compared to other types of renewable energy. The storage system enables clean energy to be produced at maximum output without using the solar field, which can be used to supply peak demand times during the day.
This manageability also solves the problems of intermittency inherent in other renewable energies, such as wind or photovoltaic power, since it enables supply to remain stable, increasing the value of solar-thermal energy.
This project is part of the SunShot Initiative carried out by the US Department of Energy, which seeks to promote innovation in order to make the cost of solar power more competitive compared with traditional sources, before the end of the decade.