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CSP solutions

Carolina Barrios, Dow Chemical, on Concentrated Solar Power

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Carolina Barrios, strategic marketing manager for Industrial Solutions at  Dow Chemical
Carolina Barrios, strategic marketing manager for Industrial Solutions at Dow Chemical

Carolina Barrios, strategic marketing manager for Industrial Solutions at Dow Chemical, discusses the companys Concentrated Solar Power solutions.

Why have you chosen to exhibit your products and services at MENASOL?
As you know, the Middle East & Africa region presents a number of important solar growth opportunities as many of the governments across the region are prioritising solar energy in their national agendas. Moreover, the region is witnessing significant investment in solar power making this a hotbed of activity in this space and prompting global players to take a serious look at the opportunities on offer.

With respect to regional platforms for the solar industry to come together, MENASOL continues to grow in strength attracting the key players in the industry every year to discuss, share and showcase the latest advancements in the industry. Needless to say, Dow is very keen to be part of this conversation, by bringing our proven CSP capabilities and strong ‘service-focused’ approach to the table and contribute to the continued growth of the industry.

Tell us about the products you are showcasing at the event
Dow will be showcasing its CSP solutions at MENASOL with a team of technical and project experts on hand to demonstrate and walk visitors through each of their unique features. DOWTHERMTM A, for instance, is the Heat Transfer Fluid of choice for more than 40 CSP plants, which combined, can provide enough electrical generation capacity to meet the needs of over one million homes, equal to a saving of approximately five million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

For more than 80 years, DOWTHERMTM A Fluid has proven to be the most thermally stable synthetic organic fluid under the sun, capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 400°C (750°F) to collect, transport and store heat in CSP systems, while operating in either liquid or vapor phase. The extreme temperature capabilities of DOWTHERMTM A enable this versatile, high purity fluid to operate for several years with excellent and consistent thermal stability, as well as maximized overall fluid life. Moreover, the low viscosity of the fluid throughout its operating temperature ensures strong system efficiency and pumpability.

Have they already been deployed in the Middle East?
There has been a strong focus by regional governments to move towards renewable energy, with the UAE aiming for 1 GW, Kuwait aiming for 15 % and Qatar working towards 20% of its energy from renewables such as solar and wind by 2030. Dow is actively involved in providing a range of proven world-class innovations and solutions, and works closely with the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) industry to help develop this sector in the region.

What are your expectations for the CSP market in this region?
We see tremendous growth potential for solar energy in the Middle East. The region’s fast growing demand for energy, coupled with local weather conditions, make solar a natural and attractive alternative source of energy for the region.

Through our advanced fluid technology, world-scale production capacity, tailored supply chain and logistics capabilities, in-depth technical support, and fluid regeneration opportunities, Dow is best placed to support not only our CSP customers’ but extend our offering to those that operate in the renewable energy industry as well. All said, we are committed to supporting the Middle East & Africa’s growth in renewables, particularly CSP and are taking vital steps to ensure that Dow maintains its position as the global leader in the CSP space.
 
Which countries in particular offer the best opportunities?
Over the last two years, this region has seen an uptake for solar projects as this market has the assets to help develop CSP on a large-scale. The Africa region in particular is experiencing rapid growth with projects such as Noor 1, the first CSP project of its kind in Morocco, a 160 MW plant which will have three hours of storage, and Bokpoort.

The Noor 1 complex is set to develop into a 500 megawatt solar park, incorporating several utility-scale solar power plants using various solar technologies.

Bokpoort, on the other hand, will have a net generation capacity of 50MW with nine hours of thermal energy storage and is part of the second round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program.

Once completed, it will be the CSP power plant with the longest amount of thermal storage in the world. Construction on Noor 1 and Bokpoort have begun, with both plants planned to go live in the second half of 2015.

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