Solana Generating Station Keeps The Sun’s Energy Working After Dark
Solana represents an important technological advance in solar energy production compared to the more-common photovoltaic technology, which needs direct sunlight in order to produce electricity. The three-square-mile facility near Gila Bend uses concentrated solar power (CSP) technology and thermal energy storage to capture the sun’s heat to generate clean, renewable electricity. This technology enables Solana to produce electricity at full capacity for up to six hours after sunset, including the early evening hours when customer demand for power typically peaks in Arizona.
When the sun goes down, the heat transfer fluid can be heated by the molten salt to create steam by running it through the tanks instead of the field of parabolic mirrors. With photovoltaic technology, generated electricity needs to be used immediately or it’s lost. Solana’s technology extends the use of solar energy to produce power whenever our customers need it most, including evenings. With the addition of Solana, APS will have 750MWof solar power on its system by the end of 2013, enough to serve 185,000 Arizona customers.
If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.