eSolar Inc. and its project team member, Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc. (B&W PGG), have been selected to receive up to $10.8 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to design, build and test a modular, base-load molten-salt power plant using concentrated solar power (CSP).
B&W PGG's scope includes a single, full-scale modular molten salt receiver specially designed to fit with eSolar's technology, molten salt to steam heat exchangers and a hot/cold molten-salt storage system. The program's goal is to achieve the lowest levelized electricity cost of any utility-scale CSP plant, according to the companies.
The plant uses a field of mirrors to focus solar energy on a tower-mounted receiver. Molten salt is used to transfer the heat energy concentrated on the receiver to a steam generator, which produces steam used to generate electricity.Â
The project is expected to take approximately 2.5 years to design, build and test.