United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has granted a feasibility study with $603,790 conducted by CH2M HILL.
The Feasibility Study (FS) is aimed at assessing the applicability of a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) tower system with molten salt storage technology for implementation in Upper Egypt. The Grantee plans to construct a 250-MW CSP plant that is expected to catalyze the development of other CSP projects in Egypt and contribute to Egypt's renewable energy targets, while servicing the expected surge in future demand of electricity from new specialized industrial zones (estimated to be 2,500 MW over the next five years). The development of Upper Egypt is a priority for the Government of Egypt. This project will help to ensure the availability of clean and renewable electricity in the region. The study will rely in part on commitments by the Grantee to provide information and data collection, and an in-kind cost share that will consist of the installation of three solar irradiation measurement devices for use in completing the feasibility study.
The goal of the TAQA CSP Plant is to develop, construct, operate and maintain a 250-MW CSP plant as a renewable energy solution in an area of Egypt where electricity demand is expected to increase significantly. The Grantee requires an FS to determine the economic viability of CSP technology in Egypt. Specifically, the FS will evaluate the viability of using a CSP tower system with molten salt storage technology, as well as alternative CSP technologies. Upon successful implementation of the TAQA CSP plant, the Grantee plans to develop three additional CSP plants in two implementation phases, with a total capacity of 1,000 MW. They are to be connected to the Egyptian grid and operated under a proposed feed-in tariff regime. Total implementation cost of the project is $1.23 billion with an estimated $478 million in potential U.S. exports.
The FS will provide the Grantee a bankable study that gives financial justification for implementing a CSP plant project in Egypt. Lacking demonstrated commercial viability of CSP technology, and in particular without knowing the true construction, operation and maintenance costs of a CSP plant in Egypt, TAQA Arabia remains unable to build and put into operation a CSP plant. Implementation of this project will help achieve the expressed Egyptian goal of increasing the use of clean and renewable sources of energy. Key aspects of the FS will include the determination of costs of local labor and materials sourced in Egypt; an analysis of unique financial structuring aspects such as sovereign guarantees, accelerated depreciation, carbon financing, and feed-in tariff rates; selection of the most appropriate CSP technology for Egypt; and quantification of the social and local economic benefits of CSP for Egypt.