Planting the Seed: Greening the Grid with Concentrating Solar Power

Mark Mehos, Dan Kabel, Phil Smithers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus Citations


The United States of America is focusing on Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), which is expanding speedily for fulfilling electricity demands in power grid. CSP requires 'Direct-Normal' Irradiance (DNI) which is a component of sunlight that comes directly from the disk of the sun and excludes diffuse or 'blue-sky' radiation. The CSP technologies currently in commercial operation are in parabolic trough and power tower (central receiver) systems. Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is a vital aspect of CSP plants that will be developed in the future and storage offers varied advantages in terms of added value to utilities. TES impacts electricity transmission needs and grid integration issues and by incorporation of TES into CSP power plants, utilities are able to enhance dispatchability. CSP will increase the deployment of new systems and help in lowering of energy costs.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number4907281
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Power and Energy Magazine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-550-46134


  • power generation
  • power generation economics
  • power system stability
  • power transmission lines
  • satellites
  • solar energy
  • solar power generation
  • solar radiation


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