Two more large-scale demonstration concentrating solar power (CSP) projects joined the team of operational solar thermal plants in China at the end of last year in 2019. Up to date, there are seven large-scale concentrated solar power projects with total capacity of 350MW in operation distributed across West China.

Chart: Global concentrated solar power capacity trend during 2012-2019

Chart: Global newly-built concentrated solar power capacity distribution in 2019

In terms of global concentrating solar power market in the year of 2019, a total capacity of 381.6MW solar thermal projects were newly built up across the world, making an increase rate of 6.29%. Specifically, China successfully completed four new CSP projects with capacity of 200MW, 52.1% of the global total.

Table: Summary of China Large-scale Commercial Projects in operation or will be completed soon

From the perspective of technology for China completed CSP projects, five of the seven projects take molten salt tower CSP route, and one takes the traditional parabolic trough tech, and one chooses innovative Fresnel with molten salt as both heat transfer and thermal storage fluid.

China 6th large-scale commercial solar thermal power plant, CPECC Hami 50MW Molten Salt Tower CSP Project, was successfully connected to the grid at 23:39 p.m. on December 29th, 2019

Lanzhou Dacheng Dunhuang 50MW Molten Salt Fresnel CSP Project was successfully connected to the gird at 17:50 p.m. on December 31, 2019, becoming the first demonstration Fresnel CSP project in China, and the world largest solar thermal power plant taking Fresnel CSP technology.

Looking at the timeline, three demonstration projects were able to be completed by the end of 2018, and enjoy the favorable FiT of RMB 1.15/kWh. Two were finished in September 2019 and two in December 2019, for which lower price will be provided by the government.

CSP Focus gets from the developer that CSNP Royal Tech Urat 100MW Parabolic Trough CSP Project is at the very last stage and will be connected to the grid in the near future.

For the year of 2020 and future, several CSP projects are expected to be constructed and developed like Yumen Xinneng 50MW MS Tower Project with three modules already installed, Royal Tech Yumendongzhen 50MW PT Project, Shenzhen Jinfan Akesai 50MW molten salt PT Project, Shouhang (formerly Guohua) Yumen 100MW MS Tower Project and Zhongyang Zhangjiakou Chabei 64MW PT Project.

In order to create an opportunity for industry players to experience the operational CSP projects, CSP Focus will organize a three-day site tour to three typical CSP projects in operation after the 10th Annual CSP Focus China conference in Beijing on March 25-26. The projects to be paid visit to include CGN Solar Delingha 50MW Parabolic Trough CSP Project (9h TES), SUPCON Solar Delingha 50MW Molten Salt Tower CSP Project (7h TES) and 700MW Luneng Multi-energy Project (PV+CSP+Wind+Storage).

1. CGN Solar Delingha 50MW Parabolic Trough CSP Project (9h TES)

Located at Delingha City, Qinghai province, the project was connected to the grid on June 30, 2018 and officially put into operation on Oct.10, 2018, becoming the first utility scale CSP project in China with 25 years lifetime. Equipped with 9h heat storage, and 9% gas as backup fuel, the project expects  an estimated annual power generation of 190 million kWh. It is the only finished CSP project taking parabolic trough technology.

It achieved daily output of 800 MWh on April 16, 2019, and 282 hours’ continuous stable power generation in May 2019.

2. SUPCON Solar Delingha 50MW Molten Salt Tower CSP Project (7h TES)

 Located at Delingha City, Qinghai province, the 50 MW plant is equipped with 7h heat storage with expected annual power generation of 140 million kWh, and total investment is RMB 1.13 billion. The project has been connected into power grid on Dec. 30, 2018, becoming the third CSP demonstration project in China.

It achieved monthly output of 10,844 MWh in December 2019, making a record high 97.6% of the designed target.

3. Luneng Haixi 50MW Molten Salt Tower CSP Project (12h TES)

Located at Golmud, Qinghai province, the 50MW CSP plant was one part of 700MW Luneng Multi-energy Project (PV+CSP+Wind+Storage), which consists of a 200 MW PV plant, a 400 MW wind power plant, a 50 MW energy storage plant and a 50 MW MS Tower plant. Equipped with 12h heat storage with an estimated annual power generation of 160 million kWh, the project is connected to the grid on September 19, 2019.