Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Plant Optimization Study for the California Power Market (CalCSP)




Concentrating Solar Power, CSP, California, Power Market, SB 100, Renewable Portfolio Standard, RPS


In the United States, many states are implementing goals to achieve 100% carbon free power generation by 2050 or sooner. California has one of the more aggressive goals to achieve 100% carbon free generation of its retail power sales by 2045. California has excellent solar resources, but to accomplish this goal, California’s power utilities will need new zero carbon resources that can replace the natural gas units that they currently rely on for suppling power at night. Appropriately configured concentrating solar power plants with thermal energy storage are an option to serve this nighttime load. These plants would be designed to take advantage of CSP’s low-cost thermal energy storage and collect and store energy during the day and then be dispatched to produce power at night. The U.S. Department of Energy has funded a study to identify the design of a CSP plant that optimally meets the evolving CA grid needs. This will be done by taking a fresh look at how CSP technologies can best be designed to meet the emerging nighttime market for carbon free power generation or zero-carbon firm resources. The paper provides an overview of the study and present preliminary findings on the California power market requirements, CSP configurations, technoeconomic analysis, siting opportunities, and key issues for CSP deployment in this market.


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How to Cite

Price, H., & Morse, F. (2024). Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Plant Optimization Study for the California Power Market (CalCSP). SolarPACES Conference Proceedings, 1.

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