The 150 MW Noor III CSP tower in Morocco has exceeded performance targets on output and storage integration in the first few months of operation and financing costs for tower storage projects should fall in line with parabolic trough rates going forward, Xavier Lara, Senior Consultant at CSP engineering group Empresarios Agrupados (EA), has said.
In December, ACWA Power brought online its 150 MW Noor III central tower plant with 7.5 hours of storage capacity in Morocco. Installed by Spain’s SENER and China’s SEPCO Electric Power Construction Corporation, Noor III is the world’s largest operational tower plant and only the second to integrate molten salt storage technology. EA is owners’ engineer for the project.
The Noor III plant has exceeded performance targets for the first few months of operations, reported New Energy Update, quoting project partners.
Data from the first few months of operation shows Noor III is exceeding performance targets on total output, ramping rates, as well as the integration of the thermal energy storage and steam generation systems, Lara said.
“We are proud to say that EA is doing its best effort to manage the integration between the “solar island” and the rest of the plant, which was one of the main factors of the failure at Crescent Dunes,” Lara said.
Another key area which will be closely monitored is the ability of the steam turbine to withstand “thermal stresses associated with the temperature gradients during the frequent ramp-ups and cooling,” Lara noted.
On the giant Noor Energy 1 project in Dubai, suppliers are using enhanced strength and design features to ensure durability throughout the record-long 35-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
Germany’s Siemens is to supply four steam turbine generators and auxiliary equipment for the parabolic trough and tower plants.
“Given the nature of CSP operations, it is essential that the steam turbines used in these plants be highly efficient and offer rapid start-up times,” Siemens said in a statement.