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CSP Development in the Southeast
Utility Provider Florida Power & Light (FPL) is now showing that CSP can work in humid and cloudy climates, with projects such as the Martin Solar Energy Center in Florida which complete construction in 2010.
Political, technological, climatic and market drivers have held back CSP development in Southeastern states. Areas with a high and consistent solar energy resource are considered to be the best venue for CSP proejcts, and as such experts seem to agree that the Southeast is not an area where one would expect to see a great deal of CSP development anytime soon.
Uniquely, projects such as the FPL Martin have special advantage; by operating as a hybrid system in conjunction with an existing combined-cycle natural gas plant, the project is cheaper than a stand-alone CSP plant. Such configurations tend to offer a potential 20 per cent cost advantage, and with natural gas prices falling more natural gas plants will be able to take advantage of this type of opportunity.
Despite these factors, the well-established fossil fuel and nuclear resources in the Southeast, and cost conscious mindset cause the region to be slow to adopt favorable green energy policies. Smaller utilities must also complete with just a few major providers in the area. This, together with the continuously decreasing cost of Solar PV make CSP in the Southeast somewhat of a challenge to implement.
What will be needed to drive the market in the Southeast and across the nation is just that; lower technology costs (which will come from more projects developed and greater commercialization)
ECS offers clean energy solutions for project developers and financiers looking for sound investment opportunities in clean energy projects. We offer a variety of services including but not limited to feasibility studies, project planning, risk assessment, technical design and engineering, project permitting, project management, and more. Contact us today to discuss your project.
Dallas Terry, LEED AP BD+C
Director, Earth Circle Sustainable Energy
Clean Energy Consulting