GDF SUEZ and Solar Power Group have signed an agreement for the joint development of a 5 MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project to supply superheated steam to the 150 MW coal-fired power plant at Mejillones in norther

Concentrated solar energy is a set of sustainable, clean technologies designed to generate power on the grand scale. Using massive arrays of mirrors, it concentrates the sun’s radiation and uses the resulting heat to convert water to high-temperature steam. This steam can then drive power-generating turbines or be used directly in a number of applications, including desalination, assisted recovery of hydrocarbons, and other industrial processes. Thermal storage allows CSP systems to provide a constant supply of steam outside daylight hours.

Of all the renewable energy sources, CSP could be one of the most important technologies for meeting world energy needs. IEA estimates suggest that between 10% and 15% of global power generation will be provided by CSP by 2050.
The Chilean project includes a solar boiler and its direct connection to the coal-fired power plant. The solar boiler that produces the superheated steam uses modules developed by Solar Power Group using its Fresnel technology. The steam will be purchased by E-CL, the power generator owned by GDF SUEZ that feeds power into the grid serving northern Chile. This project will enable the power plant to reduce its coal consumption, cut its CO2 emissions and boost its energy efficiency.

“This project is totally consistent with the GDF SUEZ ambition to include renewable and clean energy sources in its energy mix, at the same time as developing innovative and effective solutions for our customers,” explains Jan Flachet, CEO and President of GDF SUEZ Energy Latin America.

Count Jacques de Lalaing, founder and CEO of Solar Power Group: “The installation of our solar boilers at the Mejillones plant marks an important milestone on the road to generating clean, affordable energy.”

Lode Verdeyen, CEO of E-CL: “This project is a first step towards unlocking the potential of solar energy for northern Chile. This initiative demonstrates the commitment of E-CL to new technologies, and complements its diverse energy mix.”

The power supply industry is, and will increasingly be, confronted by the demands imposed by sustainable development. The ability to offer optimized hybrid CSP plants will once again demonstrate the determination of GDF SUEZ to succeed in the challenges posed by clean development.