Solar Thermal Energy - STE

Solar thermal energy (STE) is a technology for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy (heat). Solar thermal collectors are classified by the USA Energy Information Administration as low, medium, or high-temperature collectors. Low temperature collectors are flat plates generally used to heat swimming pools. Medium-temperature collectors are also usually flat plates but are used for heating water or air for residential and commercial use. High temperature collectors concentrate sunlight using mirrors or lenses and are generally used for electric power production. STE is different from photovoltaics, which convert solar energy directly into electricity.

The solar thermal method uses energy from the sun directly to generate heat. Solar panels can be used to collect heat from the sun to capture its heat and transfer it for water and space heating in buildings.

Commonly such panels are positioned to maximise absorption of heat from the sun throughout the day and contain tubing through which water circulates. This tubing is known as solar thermal collectors There is also an indirect method where not water but a non-toxic anti-freeze liquid is used. The sun warms this liquid which in turn transfers this heat to water held in a tank. Passive thermal building design is as simple as designing to maximise the sun’s use.

Pocking Solar Park

The Pocking Solar Park is a 10 megawatt (MWp) solar power plant. Construction and assembly of the photovoltaic power plant started in August 2005 and was completed in March 2006. On the former military training area in the Lower-Bavarian town of Pocking, sheep are now grazing under and around the 57,912 photovoltaic modules.

Hoya de Los Vicentes Solar Plant

The Hoya de Los Vicentes Solar Plant (Parque Solar Hoya de Los Vicentes) is a photovoltaic power station in Jumilla, Murcia in Spain. The solar park covers area of some 100 hectares (250 acres) and comprises a group of 200 photovoltaic arrays with a total capacity of 23 MW. A total of 120,000 solar panels have been installed in the facility. The project generates energy equivalent to the annual consumption of 20,000 households.

Abertura Photovoltaic Power Station

Abertura Photovoltaic Power Station is a photovoltaic power station in the municipality of Abertura, Cáceres in Spain. It has a total capacity of 23.1 MWp. The solar park was built by Iberinco. Double axes solar trackers were provided by Mecasolar and Inspira. The financing consortium wass led by West LB, Bank of Scotland and Dexia. A technical advisor was Sylcom Solar.

Lucainena de las Torres Photovoltaic Power Station

The Planta fotovoltaica de Lucainena de las Torres is a photovoltaic power station in Lucainena de las Torres, Almería in Spain. It consists of different units. Lucainena de las Torres 1 has a total capacity of 7.4 MWp and its annual output is about 11.42 GWh. Planta fotovoltaica de Lucainena de las Torres was commissioned in July 2008. Lucainena de las Torres 2 has a total capacity of 7.9 MWpand its annual output is about 12.236 GWh.

Arnprior Solar Generating Station

The Arnprior Solar Generating Station is a 23.4 MW solar farm developed on two adjacent properties located near the town of near Arnprior, Ontario, Canada.

The total project size is expected to be 80 MW, and upon completion it will become one of the largest projects worldwide. The current project phase consists of 312,000 Photovoltaic thin film solar panels made by First Solar and mounted on 13,000 racks on a 200 acres (81 ha) field.

EDF EN Canada developed the project on two adjacent properties as part of the province's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program, which provides a generous feed-in tariff of €0.2821/kWh for ground-mounted systems of or over 10MW for a period of 20 years.

Tristan Grimbert, president and CEO of EDF EN Canada and all EDF EN affiliates in North America, said, "Arnprior proves the unique abilities of EDF EN Canada to commercialize a flagship solar PV project in a matter of a few months. Our relationship lenders once again have demonstrated their support of our efforts and renewable energy. We look forward to applying our resources, experience and partnership capabilities to the FIT ground mount and rooftop development in 2010 and beyond."

EDF EN Canada has also executed term financing agreements with Dexia and Union Bank, N.A for the project.

"It has been our pleasure to support EDF EN over the years, and particularly with this project," said Lance Markowitz, senior vice president at Union Bank and manager of leasing and asset finance. "We are particularly excited to have played a key role in the financing of the Arnprior Solar Project as it extends EDF EN's leadership in the renewable energy industry to the Canadian solar market."

Alban de La Selle, managing director and head of Dexia Credit Local Canada Branch added, "Dexia is very pleased to take this opportunity to further evidence its commitment to finance the solar energy sector, where the bank has long been a pioneer in Europe. The Arnprior Solar Project will certainly be a landmark in the growing solar industry in Ontario, and we hope it will blaze the trail for many others under an appropriately tailored FIT program, and hopefully for other Canadian provinces."

Montalto di Castro Photovoltaic Power Station

The Montalto di Castro photovoltaic power station is a photovoltaic power station at Montalto di Castro in Viterbo, Italy. The project was developed by the independent developer SunRay that was later acquired by SunPower. Construction was completed and the power station was connected to the grid in November 2009. It cost €120 million.

The Montalto di Castro photovoltaic power station has a capacity of 24 MW. It uses 78,720 SunPower solar panels as well as its tracker systems. As planned, the solar panels will be added on until it reaches 100 MW.

Sinan Solar Power Plant

The Sinan solar power plant is a 24 MW photovoltaic power station in Sinan, Jeollanam-do, South Korea. As of 2009, Sinan solar power plant is the largest photovoltaic installation in Asia. The project was developed by the German company Conergy and it cost US$150 million. It was built by the Dongyang Engineering & Construction Corporation.

The photovoltaic (PV) solar cells that will be used in the project are being suppling by Sun Technics Germany, a wholly owned subsidiary of Conergy AG. The project of Sinan solar power plant will sell the estimated annual 27,000 MWh of electricity pursuant to a fixed tariff arrangement with a Korea Government department for 15 years. The electricity produced will be enough to power more than 6,000 houses.
The proposed size of the photovoltaic field which will track the sun is around 600,000m2. There will be around 109,000 PV modules installed by Sun Technics.
Chul Bohm Kim, Head of Project Finance in Korea and Shane Bush, Global Head of Renewable Energy, were the project team leaders. Shane Bush said “as South Korea implements its strategy to increase renewable energy to 10% of supply by 2020, Standard Chartered is proud to be a leading contributor to the achievement of this goal. The Bank is unique in that it has a dedicated renewable energy team which works with local professionals to offer tailor made solutions for clients.”

DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center

The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center is a photovoltaic solar power facility in Arcadia, DeSoto County, Florida owned by Florida Power & Light (FPL). President Barack Obama attended the plant's commissioning on October 27, 2009. With a nameplate capacity of 25 megawatts (MW) DC, it is the largest solar photovoltaic plant in the USA as of 2009. It produces an estimated 42,000 megawatt-hours (MW·h) of electricity per year (an average output of about 4.8 MW).

The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center cost $150 million to construct. The photovoltaic solar power plant consists of over 90,000 SunPower solar panels with single-axis trackers on 180 acres (70 ha).

DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center
Country United States
Locale Arcadia, DeSoto County, Florida
Coordinates 27°19′N 81°48′W / 27.317°N 81.8°W / 27.317; -81.8Coordinates / 27.317; -81.8
Status Operational
Commission date October 27, 2009 (October 27, 2009)
Construction cost $150 million
Owner(s) Florida Power & Light

Solar farm information
Type Flat-panel PV
Photovoltaic modules 90,000 SunPower solar panels

Power generation information
Installed capacity 25 MW
Capacity factor 19%
Annual generation 42 GW·h