The largest solar plant in the world to be switched on.

solar power plant

The largest solar plant in the world to be switched on.

As reported by the guardian

Morocco’s king will switch on the first phase of a concentrated solar power plant on Thursday that will become the world’s largest when completed.

The power station on the edge of the Saharan desert will be the size of the country’s capital city by the time it is finished in 2018, and provide electricity for 1.1 million people.

Noor 1, the first section at the town of Ouarzazate, provides 160 megawatts (MW) of the ultimate 580MW capacity, helping Morocco to save hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Article Source : The Guardian

What is a CSP or concentrated solar power?

CSP is used to produce electricity (sometimes called solar thermoelectricity, usually generated through steam). Concentrated-solar technology systems use mirrors or lenses with tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight onto a small area. The concentrated light is then used as heat or as a heat source for a conventional power plant (solar thermoelectricity). The solar concentrators used in CSP systems can often also be used to provide industrial process heating or cooling, such as in solar air-conditioning.

Concentrating technologies exist in five common forms, namely parabolic trough, enclosed trough, dish Stirlings, concentrating linear Fresnel reflector, and solar power tower.[15] Although simple, these solar concentrators are quite far from the theoretical maximum concentration.[16][17] For example, the parabolic-trough concentration gives about 1/3 of the theoretical maximum for the design acceptance angle, that is, for the same overall tolerances for the system. Approaching the theoretical maximum may be achieved by using more elaborate concentrators based on nonimaging optics.[18]

Different types of concentrators produce different peak temperatures and correspondingly varying thermodynamic efficiencies, due to differences in the way that they track the sun and focus light. New innovations in CSP technology are leading systems to become more and more cost-effective.

Commercial applications of Concentrated Solar Power

CSP is being widely commercialized and the CSP market has seen about 740 megawatt (MW) of generating capacity added between 2007 and the end of 2010. More than half of this (about 478 MW) was installed during 2010, bringing the global total to 1095 MW. Spain added 400 MW in 2010, taking the global lead with a total of 632 MW, while the US ended the year with 509 MW after adding 78 MW, including two fossil–CSP hybrid plants.[4] The Middle East is also ramping up their plans to install CSP based projects and as a part of that Plan, Shams-I which was the largest CSP Project in the world has been installed in Abu Dhabi, by Masdar. The largest CSP project in the world until January 2016 is Noor in Morocco.

There is considerable academic and commercial interest internationally in a new form of CSP, called STEM, for off-grid applications to produce 24 hour industrial scale power for mining sites and remote communities in Italy, other parts of Europe, Australia, Asia, North Africa and Latin America. STEM uses fluidized silica sand as a thermal storage and heat transfer medium for CSP systems. It has been developed by Salerno-based Magaldi Industries. The first commercial application of STEM will take place in Sicily from 2015.

CSP growth is expected to continue at a fast pace. As of January 2014, Spain had a total capacity of 2,300 MW making this country the world leader in CSP. Interest is also notable in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as India and China. The global market has been dominated by parabolic-trough plants, which account for 90% of CSP plants.

Solar Energy or Wind Energy

Solar Energy or Wind Energy which is the best? This really depends on your location. Sometimes solar energy is the best solution and sometimes wind energy is the best solution. At certain locations both will be an excellent solution to your energy and electricity needs.

Solar Energy

The sun which produces solar energy through several means like solar heating, photo voltaic which produces electricity and solar cooking. The sun rays can be used in many ways and are probably one of the most available and reliable sources of solar energy. There is not a single place on earth which would not receive at least some sun (which means solar energy a day). Solar energy can be implemented on a big scale or a small scale. It is easy for households to produce solar energy by installing solar heating or installing solar panels.

Of course in certain places in the world solar energy is more abundant then other places, but this did not stop Germany to become one of the leading countries in solar energy. Germany is not the most favorable country to produce solar energy but they are leading the world. Talk about defying the odds.

Wind Energy

Unless Solar Energy, wind energy is less viable. Wind Energy is mainly available at coastal areas, but it can be available 24 hours a day. Solar energy is not available 24 hours a day. Wind energy is also more difficult to implement on a smaller scale as it will require construction of huge structures. But there are countries which have successfully implemented wind power or wind energy. One of those countries is Denmark Wind Energy vs Solar Energy which even managed to produce more wind energy in one day as what was required.

Conclusion Solar Energy vs Wind Energy

Solar Energy & Wind Energy can both be very viable and can complement each other to power our earth now and in the future

Google to invest in south african solar power plant

Investment in solar energy is continuing in South Africa with the announcement on Thursday the 30th of may 2013 of Google’s $12m investment in the Northern Cape’s 96MW solar photovoltaic Jasper Power Plant.

Eskom the national power producer could see the first power procured from the first round of the independent power producer procurement programme by year-end. Many of the projects coming of the ground from the 18 preferred bidders in the first window of the Department of Energy’s renewable energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (IPP) programme already at build phase.

Independent Power Producers.

The first group IPP bid winners will generate a total of 631MW of electricity from solar power parks ranging in capacity from a small 5MW to larger plants. South Africa’s power supply is urgently in need of extra capacity as it has been running on a thin reserves since about 2008. In 2008 demand outstripped supply, causing a range of blackouts that damaged the economy to the tune of R50bn.

The Jasper project was developed and funded by US-based SolarReserve and South African companies Intikon Energy and the Kensani Group, as well as the Public Investment Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the PEACE Humansrus Trust.

When completed, Jasper would be one of the largest solar installations in Africa, capable of generating enough electricity to power 30,000 South African homes, Google said in a statement.

The consortium is expecting to bid for an additional 1,500MW of solar photovoltaic projects in subsequent bid rounds.

At the start of this the week, South African Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters launched another of the projects from the first window of the IPP programme. The development of the RustMo1 Solar Power Plant is the first solar energy park in North West and the first renewable energy project that will supply power to the Eskom grid and produce 250,000MW of energy over the next 20 years.

This 7MW solar photovoltaic power plant was awarded to Momentous Energy, a local black-owned development company. The project includes the installation of 11 inverters and 29,808 photovoltaic solar modules, with a step-up transformer to connect to the 88kV substation.

South Africa is in dire need of more energy after 10 years of Eskom’s pleas for investment in generation capacity being ignored. Solar Power will become a major part of South Africa’s energy needs.

The investment in solar power is not only good for South Africa’s energy requirements it should add to highly needed employment as well.

Grid Tied Solar Power Systems

Grid tied solar power systems are the most common installed systems for companies and households who have access to the national electricity grid. But what is a grid tied solar power system and what are its advantages and disadvantage?

What is a grid tied solar power system.

In layman’s term a grid tied solar power system is a solar powered system which is connected to national power grid. While the sun is shining the photovoltaic solar panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity. Electricity generated by the system can be used for your home and business. Any excess power requirements which your solar panels can not supply will be taken from the national power grid. When the power grid is running properly, your home or business will use power generated from your solar panels and/or pull electricity from the grid. If at any time you generate more electricity from your solar panels as your current power requirements this excess power will feed back into the national power grid. This excess power fed back into the national power grid can give you credit’s on your electricity bill.

Advantages of a grid tied solar power system.

The main advantage of a grid tied solar power system is that you can start small and gradually add on to the system depending on your power requirements and budget. Your power requirements should always be met. If you don’t generate enough energy through solar the national electricity grid will supply the extra power requirements. Excess power for example on weekends when a business generally requires less electricity can be fed back into the national grid. With A grid tied system you can start reducing your electricity bill with a relative low investment.

Disadvantages of a grid tied solar power system

The disadvantage of a grid tied solar system is it only works during the day when the sun is shining and when the national power grid is fully functional. If during the day the national electricity grid fails due to for example load shedding your grid tied solar power system will switch of automatically as well. All grid tied systems will switch off during a power outage because these systems are required by law to feature an automatic shut-off mechanism. These requirements are in place to protect workers working on the power grid during a power outage. This is known as an Anti-Islanding requirement.

So in short the system will not save energy during the night as you will be fully depending on your national power grid and they will not provide electricity during blackouts and load shedding.


A grid tied solar power system will save money but you will always be depending on the national power grid for your electricity needs.

Grid Tied Solar Power Systems

electricity meter grid tie