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AREVA

AREVEA is a French company primarily known for its nuclear reactor engineering. The company is more diverse than nuclear energy though with investments in solar, wind, waste, and hydrogen technologies.  AREVA is controlled primarily by the French government. AREVEA has an industrial presence in 43 countries.

AREVA Solar

This offshoot of AREVA formed in 2010 when the company purchased the US-based Ausra and is still headquartered in Mountain View, CA. AREVA Solar provides concentrated solar power solutions and is a leader in Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) technology. The company operates a 5 megawatt solar power plant in Bakersfield, CA that uses the CLFR technology.

AREVA claims that its CLFR technology is 1.5 to 3 times more land-efficient than other solar technologies. In other words, the CLFR technology generates up to 3 times more power per acre of land than other solar approaches. This reduces cost and leads to a smaller plant footprint and thus reduces environmental impact. The company also advocates “dry cooling” for solar power plants, which reduces water usage by 90%.

AREVA takes another interesting approach to solar technology by offering its proprietary boiler technology, in three different formats, to third parties. Companies can purchase the boilers as standalone solar power plants, as solar boosters for augmenting existing fossil fuel plants, or as on-site power generating facilities for industrial applications.

A major focus of AREVA is on fossil fuel-solar hybrid plants. The company looks to decrease reliance on fossil fuel by using solar in the day and overcome the nighttime limitations of solar by burning fossil fuels at night. Given that the majority of electricity is utilized during daylight hours, this approach can significantly reduce the need for fossil fuel use. According to AREVA, a fossil-solar hybrid is the lowest cost approach to energy generation, is highly scalable, uses the least amount of land, and is currently the most concrete way to reach carbon reduction goals.

Success in Australia

Australia has implemented programs for carbon reduction and it taking the commitment seriously. As a component of their approach, augmenting traditional fossil-fuel facilities with solar is seen as a cost effective method.

The first solar-coal power facility was opened in New South Wales Australia in 2004. The success of the solar-coal facility in NSW, Australia has promoted Queensland Australia to build its own facility. The project will be a 44 mega watt solar thermal augmentation to the 750 megawatt coal-fired power station that already exists. It will represent the largest solar project in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest solar-coal hybrid in the world. It will save 35,600 tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is the equivalent of taking 11,000 cars off of the road. Cost is projected at 104 million AU$.

Solar Dawn is the name of a project that was awarded to AREA by the Australian Government. This hybrid project will combined CSP and natural gas in a hybrid plant in Queensland at a cost of 539 million AU$. The system is designed to rely on solar for primary power production and natural gas as backup. The system will provide around the clock power as a result of its hybrid construction.
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