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CEO of Areva Renewables talks about combining Solar and Coal plants

Solar energy offers ‘enormous coal savings’

…India should hike its solar power and solar thermal (steam-based power production) generation targets in the short term to achieve grid parity in terms of MW and KWhr cost with coal-based power plants in the long run, according to Mr Anil Srivastava, Global CEO, Areva Renewables.

….For a 500-MW coal plant, a 50 MW solar thermal would ensure 20 per cent savings in terms of daily coal use (equivalent to the replacement of feed water heating) and avoiding 31,000 tonnes of carbon-dioxide generation annually. Assuming that 10 per cent of 77 GW of coal fired plants are coupled to 522,750 MWhr/year of solar electric production would lead to 522, 750 tonnes of coal savings and avoiding 225,000 tonnes of carbon-dioxide generation as well, he said.

……On cost, he said a 50 MW plant would work out to $150 million. However, at least 35 per cent reduction in cost could be achieved through scaling up once volumes come in and supply chains are in place. Solar energy technology was simple and all it required was quality adherence by suppliers. Areva offers performance guarantees in terms of plant availability factor alongside other operational parameters that make projects bankable, he said.

The most important component of such thermal power projects in India is feasible land.  A typical 500MW project requires about 300 acres of land. However,  the above mentioned model requires about 550 acres of land.  Given that such a land extend could support a  1000-1200MW thermal power project wonder if there would be developers who would consider such a combinaton of coal and solar as the author of the quoted article suggests.

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