Benefits

Least Cost Solar Generated Electricity: Trough plants currently provide the lowest cost source of solar generated electricity available. They are backed by considerable valuable operating experience. Troughs will likely continue t o be the least-cost solar option for another 5-10 years depending on the rate of development and acceptance of other solar technologies.

Daytime Peaking Power: Parabolic trough power plants have a proven track record for providing firm renewabl e daytime peaking generation. Trough plants generate their peak output during sunny periods when air conditionin g loads are at their peak. Integrated natural gas hybridization and thermal storage have allowed the plants to provide firm power even during non-solar and cloudy periods.

Environmental: Trough plants reduce operation of higher-cost, cycling fossil generation that would be needed to mee t peak power demands during sunny afternoons at times when the most photochemical smog, which is aggravated b y NOX emissions from power plants, is produced.

Economic: The construction and operation of trough plants typically have a positive impact on the local economy. A large portion of material during construction can generally be supplied locally. Also trough plants tend to be fairl y labor-intensive during both construction and operation, and much of this labor can generally be drawn from local labor markets.

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