World Bank increases Middle East CSP support; Chinese EPC to deploy EnergyNest storage

Our pick of the latest solar thermal news you need to know.

World Bank launches new CSP support program in Middle East and North Africa

The World Bank has launched a support program for Concentrated Solar Power development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the multilateral group announced March 8.

The World Bank gathered 100 senior energy officials from 7 MENA countries near the giant Ouarzazate project site in Morocco to launch its Middle East & North Africa Concentrated Solar Power Knowledge & Innovation Program.

The new program aims to inform CSP investment decisions and key support measures for 2017 include fast track project assistance and in-depth technical support, the World Bank said.

Around 1.3 GW of CSP capacity is currently under development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), according to a recent report by the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).

Projects are at bidding stage in Morocco, Iran, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE), while projects are planning stage in Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, MESIA said in its 'Solar Outlook Report 2017.'

The World Bank has already introduced finance and support measures for CSP plants in MENA through the Clean Technology Fund (CTF).

The CTF is funded by developed countries and provides funding to eligible developing countries. The fund has allocated $750 million of concessional finance to support $5 billion in public and private funding for CSP projects in MENA.

Morocco's 500 MW Noor CSP complex is the largest project to use CTF funding.

The 160 MW Noor 1 parabolic trough project with three hours storage is operational and provides electricity at a price of $184/MWh.

The Noor 2 parabolic trough and Noor 3 solar tower projects, currently under construction, will together provide 340 MW of capacity and eight hours storage. The plants are contracted to provide electricity at $157/MWh.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has received 30 expressions of interest for its first 200 MW CSP tower project, the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) said last month.

DEWA set a cost target for the project of $80/MWh and "it is rumoured that five or six consortia have prequalified" for the tender, the industry group said.

Dubai inaugurates second phase of giant solar park

Dubai has inaugurated the 200 MW second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the government announced March 20.

The 200 MW PV plant is the first and largest of its kind in the region, and was developed by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power which included Spain's TSK.

In total, the capacity of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will reach 1 GW by 2020 and 5 GW by 2030, according to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

Dubai aims to generate 7% of power output from clean energy sources by 2020, rising to 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050.

In January, DEWA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a 200 MW CSP plant which represents the fourth phase of the solar park. DEWA has set a cost target for the project at $80/MWh and bidders must submit proposals by May 15.

In June 2016, DEWA allocated the 800 MW third phase of the solar park to a PV project consortium led by Abu Dubai Future Energy Company (Masdar) at a world record-low price of $29.9/MWh.

The third phase will be constructed in three stages: the first 200 MW is expected to be completed by April 2018, the second 300 MW is expected online by April 2019 and the final 300 MW is planned for April 2020.

China's Suunpower to incorporate EnergyNest thermal storage

Suunpower, a CSP developer and Engineering Procurement Contractor (EPC) , has signed a partnership agreement with Norway's EnergyNest to deploy thermal energy storage (TES) systems in China.

Suunpower is involved in the construction of China's first 20 CSP projects for a total capacity of 1 GW.

The EnergyNest TES has "significant cost advantages over molten salt energy storage systems for new CSP projects," the company said in a statement.

The EnergyNest system allows plants to capture waste heat from industrial facilities and applications include industrial waste heat recovery and smart power grid solutions, such as storing and utilizing excess renewable energy.

The EnergyNest technology will allow Suunpower to expand its product portfolio, the Chinese company said.

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