Three major concentrating solar power (CSP) projects in the oil-rich nation of Kuwait will take advantage of the sun, bringing them off the drawing boards and into reality. The country is moving forward on plans to increase its use of renewable energy from less than 1 percent today to 15 percent by 2030.
The projects have been on the books for a while, according to a new article from CSP Today. But it looks like now three projects will move forward. The first is a 60 megawatt solar trough, which will be part of a 280 megawatt integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC) system. The second likely to get underway is the 50 megawatt solar trough system that’s part of the 70 megawatt Shagaya Renewable Energy Complex. The third will likely be at an enhanced oil recovery location operated by Chevron.
The first project, the Al Abdaliya Solar Plant ISCC system is being paired with a gas turbine. The Toyota Tsusho Corp. began a study on the project in 2007 and finalized its conclusions on the system in 2012. Now Kuwait’s Partnership Technical Bureau (PTB) and Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) are preparing to issue requests for proposals later this year, CSP Today said.
The second, at the Shagaya Renewable Energy Complex, is part of a larger pilot project. It will consist of the trough system, which is expected to use dry cooling and molten salt thermal energy storage, allowing it to produce energy after the sun goes down. That complex will also have a 10 megawatt PV project and a 10 megawatt wind project.
Perhaps the most unique application of solar, the article cites is the proposed use of solar to extract oil. Chevron is considering using solar in conjunction with natural gas to extract oil with steam at Chevron’s oil field in the Partition Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The system would likely rely on a system like the BrightSource Energy system Chevron is using in Southern California for the same purposes.
Kuwait is hardly the first solar-rich country in the Middle East to look to the sun for its energy. Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt are interested in solar. Saudi Arabia also is working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to determine the solar in resource in the Kingdom and where best to locate solar arrays. UAE is already installing solar projects as well.