Techno-economic analysis of a concentrating solar power plant using reduction/oxidation metal oxides for thermochemical energy storage
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant technology can produce reliable and dispatchable electric power from an intermittent solar resource. Recent advances in thermochemical energy storage (TCES) can offer further improvements to increase off-sun operating hours, improve system efficiency, and the reduce cost of delivered electricity. This work describes a 111.7 MWe CSP plant with TCES using a mixed ionic-electronic conducting metal oxide, CAM28, as both the heat transfer and thermal energy storage media. Turbine inlet temperatures reach 1200 °C in the combined cycle power block. A techno-economic model of the CSP system is developed to evaluate design considerations to meet targets for low-cost and renewable power with 6-14 hours of dispatchable storage for off-sun power generation. Hourly solar insolation data is used for Barstow, California, USA. Baseline design parameters include a 6-hour storage capacity and a 1.8 solar multiple. Sensitivity analyses are performed to evaluate the effect of engineering parameters on total installed cost, generation capacity, and levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). Calculated results indicate a full-scale 111.7 MWe system at $274 million in installed cost can generate 507 GWh per year at a levelized cost of $0.071 per kWh. Expected improvements to design, performance, and costs illustrate options to reduce energy costs to less than $0.06 per kWh.