Xcel Energy's first-ever solar-coal project is running
Xcel Energy is now operating a first-of-its-kind demonstration of a hybrid solar-coal approach, using parabolic-trough solar technology integrated with a coal-fired power plant. The project, located at Xcel Energy's Cameo Generating Station near Grand Junction, Colo., is designed to increase the plant's efficiency, decrease the use of coal, test the commercial viability of concentrating solar power thermal integration, and lower carbon dioxide emissions. Abengoa Solar developed the parabolic-trough technology, which concentrates solar energy to provide heat for producing supplemental steam for electric power production.
"We are very excited about getting this unique renewable energy project on line," said Kent Larson, vice president and chief energy supply officer for Xcel Energy. "If this project produces the successful results we expect, this type of solar thermal integration will help move the use of solar energy one step closer to being a potential technology for improving the environmental performance of coal-fired power plants for Xcel Energy and for utilities around the country."
"We are pleased to work with Xcel Energy on this important innovative clean technology project. We believe that the solar approach being implemented at Cameo will provide a cost-effective way of delivering solar energy," said Santiago Seage, Abengoa Solar CEO.
The project is the first under Xcel Energy's new Innovative Clean Technology (ICT) Program, an initiative to test promising new technologies with potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions and result in other environmental improvements. Through the ICT Program, the company can pursue the development, commercialization and deployment of new power generation, energy storage and other technologies that support its clean energy strategy. It provides the opportunity to test these technologies and evaluate their cost, reliability and environmental performance at a demonstration scale before determining whether they should be deployed more widely for Colorado customers.