Hawaii, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii this mont, inaugurated a Sopogy MicroCSP solar thermal plant. The 2-megawatt (MW) solar thermal project, which spans 3.8 acres in the hot Kona desert utilizes 1,000 Sopogy proprietary MicroCSP solar panels. The project is called “Holaniku at Keahole Point”, which comes from the Hawaiian term for a location that has everything required for self-sufficiency.
Through the use of mirrors and optics and an integrated sun tracker, the panels used in the project achieve higher efficiencies than conventional solar panels, Sopogy said. The system also uses a thermal energy storage buffer that allows energy to be produced during cloudy periods and to shift energy produced from the day to evening periods.
“MicroCSP is an achievement in rugged, modular and cost effective solar thermal technology,” said Darren Kimura, president and CEO of Sopogy, Inc. “The completion and demonstration of this 2 megawatt solar thermal project is an important first step in bringing the solution to the world.”
With the initialization of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, the state has become a magnet for renewable energy project development. Sopogy and its local solar project development partner Keahole Solar Power have a goal to bring 30 MW of MicroCSP power to the state by 2015.