There's a lot of buzz about the global opportunity for the concentrated solar power (CSP) industry. And there's a great deal of excitement about the potential of CSP in the energy market.
As part of this excitement, over 100 solar industry professionals attending the CSP Today Summit visited our Kimberlina solar thermal power plant today to see firsthand our superheat steam technology in action.
But as I told them, our ability as an industry to transform this potential into a robust global market depends on our individual ability to be cost-competitive, reliable and bankable.
As a 30-year veteran of the power industry, I know there are three questions that power customers will ask about a CSP project. I'm confident the marketplace will reward CSP companies that can answer "Yes" to all three challenging questions:
Is your project bankable?
Do you have prices that you can deliver on?
Are your technology and commercial offerings backed by proven, reliable operating data that meet power and industrial customer needs?
Allow me to answer for AREVA Solar right now …
1. Is your project bankable?
Yes. AREVA Solar is bankable, and we believe this will be the standard by which success is measured. That's why we've spent the last few years focusing our energy on two areas: maturing our technology (video) to make it reliable and bankable, and backing our technology and execution capabilities with a company that enables our projects to be financed.
2. Do you have prices that you can deliver on?
Yes. AREVA Solar's mission is to deliver on our promises. We only offer customers prices that we can deliver on based on operating experience.
We've seen the photovoltaic (PV) sector lower costs as technologies have advanced and the supply chain streamlined. The CSP sector is also advancing new technologies. Common "success metrics" in our industry have been lowering offered costs and announcing PPA signings. However, what matters most in our view is not announcements, but execution. As we showed at Kimberlina today, AREVA Solar is executing with three solar boilers in operation and the next generation of our technology under construction.
3. Are your technology and commercial offerings backed by proven, reliable operating data that meet power and industrial customer needs?
Yes. AREVA Solar backs its offerings with proven operating data. We made the technological advances that help us reduce costs, but also enhance performance and address risk mitigation. We have developed AND PROVEN the lowest cost solar thermal offering. Our products are reliable, scalable and meet the needs of both power generation and industrial customers.
As our visitors saw today, we are building a fourth solar steam generator, SSG4, which will incorporate the lessons we learned building and operating SSGs 1-3. SSG4 represents another major advancement in our solar thermal technology with projected superheated steam at temperatures up to 900° F for power generation applications.
The market for concentrated solar power is expected to grow substantially in the next decade with an average growth rate of 20 percent and an estimated installed capacity of more than 20 gigawatts around the world by 2020.
By answering "Yes" to these three customer questions, AREVA Solar is poised to be the world leader in the global CSP industry. No question about it.