Technology Research Area:
Solar Energy to Augment Fossil Fuel Energy
How could solar energy augment fossil fuel production, and what does it have to do with TVA's mission?
TVA is firmly committed to clean, renewable, efficient power generation. Augmenting the steam produced from a coal- or natural-gas-fired power plant with steam produced from concentrated solar technology would reduce the amount of fossil fuel burned, reduce emissions released into the air and increase renewable energy generation.
What is TVA doing about it?
TVA has initiated a study of the use of concentrated solar power to augment power production at a TVA fossil plant. The study will analyze how the system might work using two existing models:
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratories Solar Advisory Model will be used to predict the solar power output each year.
- A Thermoflex modeling software will be used to evaluate fluctuations in the solar output and to model the most efficient design of the plant equipment.
What are the possibilities for augmenting fossil power production with solar power?
We will have a better idea of how concentrated solar power could augment fossil power when this analysis is completed.
The study will propose a specific approach for integrating concentrated solar power with fossil power, including a basic flow diagram of the system, a site plan showing the proposed solar field, the results of the modeling studies and an estimated budget for completing the project.
Whatever the outcome of the study, TVA will continue to investigate ways to use solar power. The drive to limit emissions from power generation and the progressive development of solar technology continue to make solar power a strong potential alternative to fossil fuel.