BrightSource chief exec: CSP in the US will continue to grow

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Concentrating solar power (CSP) in the US would continue to see growth despite the expiration of government funding for large-scale installations, the chief executive officer of BrightSource Energy said yesterday.

John Woolard said that the current build-out of CSP in the US could continue as prices declined and technology evolved to include thermal storage.

Woolard told PV-Tech: “We're definitely at the start of the CSP era because our cost curve can drop 30% which wind and PV is already starting to ride down. If you look at the CSP companies out there, you've got a very attractive cost curve as well as the ability to start to integrate very early in the process. We haven't even touched higher pressures and temperatures, we haven't begun to touch high temperature storage, which can shrink the physical space storage needs by a factor of three.

“This is just the beginning. I did software for a while and I'm a great believer in iterations. You build something and you learn – and we're just on the first lap. Every lap you're going to reduce costs and increase performance.”

During his keynote at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, Woolard said that the BrightSource Ivanpah plant had the ability to smooth out load curve because it could also burn natural gas.

“It's a bit like bringing your own beer to the party if you have gas, because you can get a flat and reliable shape for your power,” he said.

Woolard added that with solar thermal, the benefits would be even greater, like bringing “your own beer to the party and some for your friends”.

“Four to six hours of storage can allow more of the other intermittent sources to be able to connect to the grid,” he said.

“You can now start to integrate more PV, more wind. That ability to integrate is now part of eight different proceedings at public utilities comissions. It's a big driver of value and economics.”

BrightSource is backed by Google, NRG Energy and Chevron Ventures, among others. Its $2.2 billion Ivanpah project was funded by a $1.6 billion Department of Energy 1705 loan guarantee. The company has a total pipeline of 1.GW, with 392MW under construction at Ivanpah. Its other projects, Palen (500 MW), Hidden Hills (500 MW) and Ashalim (120MW) in Israel are at a stage of advanced development.

GTM Research estimates that 940MW of CSP is expected to come online in the US in 2013. Installed CSP capacity will peak in 2014 at 1,944 MW dropping to 412MW by 2016.

10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!
23 November 2021
The solar, storage and EV industries in the UK are going from strength to strength. There is no better place for the community to meet, share ideas and do business than Solar & Storage Live from 23-25 November at the NEC.There’s something for everyone; more than 150 exhibitors, a high-level conference, a start up and innovation zone, a poster zone, strategic partners to network with and much more. 
1 December 2021
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability. This event will be run online with streamed content, access to session recordings and chat/messaging tools for delegates to connect.
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.

Read Next

October 21, 2021
A round-up of the latest news from the US solar market, featuring project financing from Cypress Creek and DE Shaw, SolarEdge project launches and solar loan securitisations from Sunnova and Mosaic.
PV Tech Premium
October 21, 2021
Chinese power restrictions are likely to change in Q1 next year and will consider the power necessity and industrial demand of certain regions. Nonetheless, polysilicon prices will remain high well into next year and could rise even further.  And, distributed solar is the future of solar PV generation in China.
October 21, 2021
US utility Hawaiian Electric is seeking proposals from resources including solar-plus-storage as part of its latest “all-source” renewables procurement round.
October 21, 2021
Tesla solar installations jumped by 46% year-on-year but fell slightly sequentially to 83MW in Q3 as the clean tech giant targeting greater profitability from its energy division.
October 20, 2021
Spain’s latest renewables auction closed with solar PV bidders being awarded just 866MW of capacity, with players such as Naturgy and Bruc among the winning participants.
October 20, 2021
The main shareholder of Falck Renewables is selling its controlling stake in the solar and wind developer to an investor advised by JP Morgan Investment Management.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021