Crescent Dunes, the world’s largest solar plant with molten salt energy storage, begins commissioning

The biggest solar tower plant with molten salt storage has begun commissioning in the northern desert region of Nevada.

The 110MW Crescent Dunes project includes 10 hours of storage, and will provide electricity to the NV grid, just north of Las Vegas, between the hours of noon and midnight. The storage will enable the plant to deliver electricity to customers whenever they need it.

The commissioning of Crescent Dunes will involve calibration of its 10,300 heliostats and mirrors, which direct the sun’s energy on to a receiver at the top of a huge solar tower. The commissioning will also test the molten salt storage systems.

The development comes as Ivanpah, the world’s biggest solar tower power plant (although without storage) came on line in California, with Energy Secruetary Munoz doing the honours.

Crescent Dunes develop SolarReserve has recently opened an office in Western Australia, in anticipation of securing contracts for smaller scale version with local mining companies.

“Start of commissioning of the Crescent Dunes solar power plant marks a critical milestone for the project as well as the solar industry,” Solar Rescerve CEO Kevin Smith said in a statement. “We are now able to build utility-scale power plants, fueled only by the sun, which operate on-demand, day and night, just like traditional fossil fuel or nuclear power plants.

Top image: Crescent Dunes solar power plant, © SolarReserve

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson