NTPC awards the contract for Asia’s first integrated solar thermal power plant: Thermax and FRENELL to execute the project
Thermax, an Indian energy and environment company and FRENELL, a German concentrated solar power company, (through its wholly owned subsidiary Novatec Solar Espana, S.L) have been awarded by India’s state owned utility NTPC, to execute Asia’s first integrated solar thermal power plant at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, India. The project involves the integration of a concentrated solar field into the Dadri coal fired power station. The ground breaking ceremony was celebrated on Friday, 4th of November 2016. The completion of the project is scheduled for September 2017.
The solar field will use FRENELL’s proprietary concentrated solar power (CSP) technology which is based on flat mirror Fresnel collector principle. On a surface of 33,000m2, the solar field will feed annually 14 gigawatt hours of solar thermal energy into the water-steam cycle of a 210 MW unit of the power station. The mirrors concentrate the sunlight on absorber tubes and heat the fluid up to 250°C which are the parameters required for the power station unit. The heat generated from the solar field will heat the feed water supplied to the steam generator, allowing for lower coal consumption and thereby reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
In a competitive tender process among three international EPC companies, the Fresnel technology won out over parabolic trough and solar tower technology and the contract has been awarded to the consortium of Thermax and FRENELL. Thermax will be acting as the EPC contractor to NTPC and is responsible for design, engineering, procurement and supply of the entire solar thermal plant and balance- of- plant equipment as well as for the integration of the solar field into the coal fired power station. FRENELL will deliver its CSP technology as subcontractor and will execute the turnkey manufacturing and construction of the solar field.
“This project is of high strategic importance for India as it introduces a new option for power generating companies to improve the efficiency of their coal fired power stations. This solution will also contribute to the national target of at least 3% solar share of total power generation by 2022,” says M.S. Unnikrishnan, CEO of Thermax. “Compared to green field CSP plants, this is a cost efficient application as the existing thermal power station infrastructure can be used. The total market potential of this solution in India is estimated to be 1,700 MW and Thermax is prepared to continue the lead in offering such integrated solutions,” he adds.
“We are very proud to have been selected by NTPC to deliver our CSP technology to this flagship project,” says Martin Selig, CEO of FRENELL. “We share Thermax’s view that there is a significant market potential for CSP brown field solutions in India. In order to further increase our cost advantage over competitors in future CSP tenders, we are planning to localize our solar field component manufacturing and supply chain in India. The required temperature for this project is 250°C. Our solar field is designed for up to 550°C. We are keen to show case in future projects our high temperature solution which is also capable to store high temperature energy for solar power generation during night time,” he adds.