Last February, AREVA fully aquired the California based, solar thermal company Ausra to create AREVA Solar. At the time we wrote that “this acquisition launches AREVA’s new global solar energy business” and “It reflects AREVA’s strategic objective to be the world leader in concentrated solar power ”
Here is a great interview with AREVA Solar CEO Robert Fishman where he discusses the mid-term road ahead for the new company.
If you are new to Solar technology acronyms, the article discusses CSP technologies (Concentrated Solar Power) and CLFR (Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector) which Ausra was a pioneer in. More info on AREVA Solar technologies can be found on the former Ausra site.
Read the whole thing, but here are some snippets:
CSP Today: Which markets do you anticipate will prove robust for Areva Solar’s technology in the medium-term: utility-scale electricity generation; steam augmentation; or industrial processes?
Bob Fishman: We see a lot of attractive near-term opportunities in the power augmentation or “booster” market. AREVA can install a solar field at existing natural gas-fired or coal-fired power plants to increase peak plant output without added emissions—or we can reduce emissions while maintaining the same output of the plant.
In comparing all CSP and PV solar technology options, AREVA Solar’s booster facilities are by far the most cost-effective solar offering in the market.
First, these projects integrate into an existing power block, eliminating a costly capital expense that requires a long lead-time. Secondly, these projects are more attractive to utility customers because they are moderately sized, can be deployed on land already owned by the power plant, and give utilities a good comfort level in both scale and cost. These are a logical step-up for customers in scale of deployment and an attractive transition into the utility-scale market.
At the same time, we are pursuing several utility-scale projects in key markets around the world.
Another attractive near-term market is for industrial process steam. Industries that require large amounts of steam (such as enhanced oil recovery, food processing or petrochemical refining) can utilize direct solar steam or hot water….
Environmentally, the benefits are clear. Utilities reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions by adding solar steam generation. This turns into a financial benefit as well in locations that mandate emission constraints.
Additionally, using water as our working fluid for a direct steam offering with a closed loop system and dry cooling makes our technology more appealing for the arid locations that tend to be best suited for CSP technology. We also offer the highest land density design, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint.
CSP Today: What other major CSP projects are in Areva Solar’s project pipeline?
Bob Fishman: We are currently short-listed for Australia’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program. We are part of an energy consortium with Wind Prospect CWP Pty Ltd, CS Energy Ltd., and Mitsui & Co (Australia) Ltd that is seeking to develop, build and operate a standalone, 250MWe solar thermal power plant at Kogan Creek, near Chinchilla in Queensland. The power plant will incorporate AREVA Solar’s Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) technology.