May 17, 2020

EnviroMission Limited's Solar Tower ‘Rises' to the Occasion

2 min
EnviroMission's Solar Tower
There are many ways to harness the power of the sun, several of which are far simpler than the chemically complex photovoltaic panels that we are all fa...
There are many ways to harness the power of the sun, several of which are far simpler than the chemically complex photovoltaic panels that we are all familiar with in today’s green economy. For example, the sun’s heat has been harnessed for years to warm up water supplies and can even be focused with mirrors to create steam to power electricity-generating turbines. EnviroMission Limited is also harnessing the sun’s heat to run turbines; but instead of water, they are heating up the air in their Solar Tower power plant design.

The Solar Tower is fairly simple in its general function. It works by gathering the sun’s rays to heat up the air in an airtight canopy. The hot air then rises through a tall cylindrical tower at the center of the canopy. As everyone knows, heat rises, and as the hot air in the tower rises from bottom to top, it spins a series of turbines, thus creating electrical power.

The first installation of the Solar Tower power plant is set to debut in the deserts of Arizona in the United States. A single 200 Megawatt power station can produce enough clean renewable energy to power 100,000 homes, and is the carbon equivalent to removing 220,000 vehicles from the roads.

Acuity Technology Management has assessed the Solar Tower design and has placed a value of $60 million on the intellectual property and development rights, as well as commercial viability.

"This valuation represents an independent assessment of the value of EnviroMission's enhancements to Solar Tower technology, new intellectual property, know how and commercial prospects and outcomes such as the recent Power Purchase Agreement to sell electricity generated from the proposed Arizona Solar Tower to the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA)," said Roger Davey, EnviroMission Chief Executive.

As solar energy solutions progress, new, seemingly simple designs will become the most profitable. Photovoltaic cells remain expensive, and the embodied energy and lifespan of solar panels leave consumers questioning their economic feasibility. Turbines, on the other hand, are an age-old technology that is relatively simple to build and maintain. EnviroMission Limited may have their hands on something here. Investors… start your engines! I mean turbines!

Source: EnviroMission Limited

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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