Solar Millennium has claimed that its Kuraymat, Egypt solar-thermal power plant, in operation since June, has been surpassing field performance by 8%. The parabolic trough technology hybrid plant holds an overall 150MW electric capacity and in addition to solar energy, uses natural gas to allow for 24-hour operation.
Solar Millennium’s subsidiary Flagsol provided the solar technology for the project in addition to providing the design, heat transfer fluid (HTF) system in the absorber pipes and delivery of the control unit for the project. Orascom Construction oversaw the installation and commissioning of the project and will partner with Flagsol to receive operation and maintenance support. The two companies will jointly operate the solar section of the power plant for two years before it is handed over to the owner.
“Cooperation with our Egyptian partner, Orascom, works so well that we have, thus, established a basis for further cooperation in the region. Currently, we and Orascom participate together in the tender process for Morocco's first solar-thermal power plant”, Klaas Rühmann, the Kuraymat project manager in charge at Flagsol, explains.
Over 100 technicians built 2,000 collector units with the completed Skal-ET collectors measuring over 19.6 feet in height. These were installed at the solar field in several 328ft long rows of parabolic troughs. All of the collectors for the project automatically and permanently track the sun with the site said to hold an average solar irradiation of over 2,400Kwh per square meter and year. The Kuraymat solar field uses more than 53,000 parabolic mirrors to produce solar electricity.
The company noted that that the total cost of the project was over €250 million with 30% of that figure attributed to the development of the solar field. However, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) subsidized the solar project with around US$50 million.