An Assessment of Concentrating Solar Power for Egyptian Locations
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Concentrating solar power (CSP) is a promising technology for generating efficient renewable solar energy in countries with high direct normal irradiance (DNI). Egypt, as one of those countries, can very effectively harness the sun’s energy for the generation of power, which could have an appreciable impact on Egypt’s future energy plans. Nevertheless, the current and planned CSP projects do not match Egypt’s solar energy potential. Accordingly, this study examines both the technological and economic aspects of a potential CSP plant in Egyptian locations, in addition to investigating grid integration performance. A multi-criteria analysis was used in this study to identify and limit the number of the potential sites to three locations to be used as case studies. Subsequently, the System Advisor Model (SAM) simulation package was used to compare the three selected locations in terms of levelised cost of energy (LCOE) and annual energy output. The simulation results demonstrated that a site near Ras Shukeir city in Egypt showed the lowest LCOE with 10.07 USȼ/kWh and the best generation performance with an annual energy output of 464.7 GWh. Based on the output power values of SAM model, load flow studies were performed to assess a CSP system at the site. The load flow solution results showed the values of the expected voltage and voltage angles for each bus for a 24-hour period were acceptable when connected to the grid. In summary, this work has shown that CSP technology can be adopted on a bigger scale in Egypt, even with the current economic status of the country.