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Guest posted a topic in TopicsOne of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption of renewables is energy storage. Where do you store energy when the sun's not shining, the wind's not blowing, etc.? A Swedish research team believes it found the breakthrough renewables was looking for, a solar thermal fuel that can store the sun's energy for up to 18 years. Hydrocarbons, in part, became the world's dominant energy source because they are relatively cheap to extract, can be stored for long periods of time, and can be utilized immediately. These factors make it a great source for energy to power on-demand. As batteries continue to develop in their capacity to store energy and for long periods of time, they have begun to supplant hydrocarbons, i.e. electric vehicles. As an alternative to batteries, the specialized solar thermal fluid can hold the sun's energy for long periods of time and expel that energy on demand. Unlike batteries, which discharge electricity, the solar thermal fuel emits heat when activated through a catalyst. This means the fluid would be ideal for heating residential and commercial homes. Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/11/06/scientists-reveal-strange-molecule-that-can-store-suns-energy-for-18-years/#4d2a30234835 https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/11/06/scientists-reveal-strange-molecule-that-can-store-suns-energy-for-18-years/#4d2a30234835
SolarReserve is a developer of utility-scale solar power projects which includeÂ Concentrated Solar PowerÂ (CSP) andÂ PhotovoltaicÂ (PV) technology. The company has commercializedÂ solar thermal energy storageÂ technology that enablesÂ solar power towerÂ CSP plants to deliver electricity day and night. In this technology, aÂ molten saltÂ is used to capture the energy from the sun and store it. When electricity is needed, the stored liquid salt is used to turn water into steam to turn a turbine and generate electricity. As of May 2015, SolarReserve has developed and secured long-term power contracts for 482 megawatts (MW) of solar projects representing $2.8 billion of project capital, with a development pipeline of more than 6.6 gigawatts (GW) globally.Â SolarReserve reached its lowest price yet at Â¢6.3/kWh for the 2019Â CopiapÃ³ Solar Project. In addition to its headquarters in Santa Monica, California, SolarReserve has offices in Spain, Chile, South Africa, Turkey, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. SolarReserve was formed in early 2008 with seed capitalÂ from US Renewables Group, in partnership withÂ United Technologies CorporationÂ (UTC), to commercialize advanced molten salt technology for utility-scale concentrated solar thermal power.Â This technology was first developed and tested byÂ RocketdyneÂ for two decades and had more than 100 US and international patents.Â In September 2008 the company raised an additional $140 million in aÂ Series B funding. In 2014, SolarReserve acquired ownership from Rocketdyne of its intellectual property rights and patents specifically for molten salt technology for concentrated solar-thermal power and electricity storage, heliostat designs and collector field control systems. Projects Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project The 110 MWÂ Crescent Dunes Solar Energy ProjectÂ is the worldÂ’s first utility-scale facility to use molten salt power tower energy storage.Â It has 10,347 tracking mirrorsÂ Â (heliostats) that follow the sun and reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a heat exchanger, a receiver, atop a 640-foot (200Â m) tower. Crescent Dunes has 10 hours of storage and will deliver 500,000 MW hours of electricity per year, day and night, to 75,000 homes.Â In September, 2011, SolarReserve received a $737 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the project and broke ground.Â The project has a 25-year agreement with NV Energy for 100 percent of the electricity. Construction is complete and the project went online in the fall of 2015.Â Under the rollout plan with NV Energy, the facility will ramp-up over the coming year. Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project TheÂ Redstone Solar Thermal PowerÂ Project is 100 MW solar project located atÂ Postmasburg, near Kimberly, South Africa. The project will have 12 hours of storage to deliver to more than 200,000 South African homes. The project is planned to be online in 2018. Aurora Solar Thermal Power Project TheÂ Aurora Solar Thermal Power ProjectÂ is a 150MW solar thermal plant proposed to be built about 30 kilometres (19Â mi) north ofÂ Port AugustaÂ inÂ South Australia.The project is expected to cost AUD $650 million and be completed by 2020. The promised power delivery price is noted to be competitive with combined-cycle natural-gas plants. CopiapÃ³ Solar Project TheÂ CopiapÃ³ Solar ProjectÂ nearÂ CopiapÃ³, Atacama Region, Chile is a 260 MW hybrid solar power project consisting of CSP and PV energy. It will have 14 hours of storage to deliver to more than 560,000 homes inÂ Atacama. The project is the first of its kind in Chile and will be the largest solar power plant in the world.Â At the 2017 auction, SolarReserve bid $63/MWh (Â¢6.3/kWh) for 24-hour CSP power with no subsidies, competing with other types such as LNG gas turbines. Photovoltaic Lesedi Solar Energy Project Letsatsi Solar Energy Project Jasper Solar Energy Project