Hawaiian Solar Thermal Project Incorporates Geothermal Technology  

Posted by Big Gav

Sustainable Business news has an article on an interesting experiment
in small scale solar thermal power generation in Hawaii - <a
href="http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/20086">Hawaiian
Solar Thermal Project Incorporates Geothermal Technology</a>.
<blockquote>A new hybrid power plant to be built in Hawaii will
combine solar thermal technology for harnessing the sun's heat with a
power-generating turbine designed for geothermal applications.

Solar thermal company Albiasa Corporation (Albiasa) announced a letter
of intent for the project with utility Pacific Light & Power (PLP).

Traditionally, solar thermal plants focus the heat of the sun to
create steam which then drives a turbine to produce power. These power
plants are generally designed for dozens or even hundreds of megawatts
in capacity, which allows them to operate more efficiently.

However, using geothermal turbine technology thta is designed to
squeeze extra energy out of lower-heat liquids, engineers think they
can make equally efficient solar thermal plants at smaller scales.

The Kauai 1 project in Hawaii will be only 10 megawatts (MW) in size,
and Albiasa will supply equipment for solar collection and thermal
energy storage.

Albiasa and PLP are working with Ram Power, Inc. (RPI) to incorporate
the company's geothermal technology, which combines traditional steam
turbine equipment with an organic rankine cycle to extend power
production and enhance part-load performance.

Situated on 100 acres of dormant farm land between the towns of Kekaha
and Waimea on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, PLP Kauai 1 will be the
first utility scale renewable power generation facility in Kauai and
the largest solar project in Hawaii. PLP is currently negotiating a
long term power purchase agreement with Kauai Island Utility
Cooperative (KIUC).

Construction of the project is scheduled to begin late this year and
could be completed as early as the end of 2011. PLP Kauai 1 will
include up to three hours of heat transfer fluid storage with the
flexibility to shift power generation during the day. </blockquote>

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