Sahara Solar Plant Pushes Clean Energy To 2.5 Million European Homes

CSP Power Heliostats - Solar Power - Our Explorers

[the_ad id=”883″]The Sahara desert is well known for its blazing sun and record high temperatures, however come 2018, it could also begin powering homes half a world away.

A project called TuNur proposes to build an enormous $13 million, 100-square-kilometer solar farm in Tunisia. The farm would send the desert power directly to Europe, transporting it through a 280-mile-long subsea cable to an interconnection point where electricity could then be fed to the European grid.

The mega solar farm uses CSP Tower technology, which involves a field of flat mirrors that track the sun, called helostats, to reflect and concentrate its solar rays onto a boiler located atop a tower (known as the Central Receiver). The Central Receiver then converts the concentrated solar energy collected from the entire surface of the helostats into heat in the form of steam, later sending it to a traditional steam turbine generator to generate electricity.

TuNur Process - Sahara Solar Power - Our Explorers

A dedicated transmission line will then transport power from the Tunisia power plant to the European grid via a landing point in Italy, just north of Rome.

Sahara Solar Power Transmission & Distribution - Our Explorers

Nur Energie experts are estimating that this long distance clean energy project would be able to provide power to a whopping 2.5 million European homes. Although the energy site is a fair distance away from its target market, Nur Energie has already identified a remote site within the desert for the project, and investors are already on board.

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The Challenge

The TuNur project aims to solve 3 main problems within the European energy market:

1) The European Union has set a 2020 target to generate 20% of its energy consumption from renewable energy
2) Europe has 65-70 GW coming from coal-fired plants, which are set to go offline by 2023 as a result of C02 emission restraints
3) Recent catastrophic nuclear power plant accidents elsewhere in the world have EU countries considering operational risk, with many countries now beginning the process of phasing-out all nuclear facilities

 european-union-renewable-energy

These issues mean that EU countries will need to secure new sources of low cost, non-intermittent renewables that will help achieve 2020 renewable energy targets, also reducing energy costs and ensuring the long-term supply of uninterrupted power.

The CSP with Storage is the perfect renewable energy solution to combat these problems. It will hedge against volatile fossil fuel pricing, contribute to EU Renewable Energy targets and increasing demand for green power, it has a predictable production profile over the course of a day, and it can focus on peak periods of electric demand as well as contributing to the “green” electricity market in Europe.

Providing predictable low carbon power to over 2 million homes in Europe would be extraordinary. Check out the more detailed breakout of the process below.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the development.

Solar Power Tower & Molten Salt Receiver - Our Explorers

(Nur Energie)

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