BOSTON, USA: In a landmark event for the energy industry, four major industry players have joined forces to form the Hybrid Energy Consortium (HEC), focused on the design of next generation utility-scale commercial integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC) power plants.
The founding members of the consortium are QGEN of the USA, FLABEG Group and Schlaich Bergermann und Partner Sohne GmbH, both of Germany and JGC Corporation of Japan – all known as innovators in their respective specialties in the energy industry.
HEC’s mission will be to accelerate the design and development of ISCC plants. HEC’s ISCC plants start by integrating state-of-the-art concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies into conventional gas- and coal-fired plant designs to generate electricity and desalinate water.
As a next step, HEC will test new solar field designs and components in ISCC configurations in its own technology demonstration plants to be located in North Africa and North America. Upon the successful development of its commercial designs, HEC plans to provide its design, procurement and construction services to project developers around the world.
ISCC plants will accelerate the integration of solar energy into the electricity generation mix. In ISCC plants solar energy is used as a complement to fossil fuels leveraging the gas- or coal-fired plant infrastructure and eliminating the need for the government subsidies currently being granted to stand-alone concentrating solar or photovoltaic (PV) power plants.