• – ARUP reports on study comparing 1414 Degrees TESS with concentrated solar power (CSP)
  • – TESS would be more economical than CSP for greenhouse farms

Global engineering firm ARUP has reported the results of a study of technologies for heating and powering greenhouse farms. The report was funded by 1414 Degrees as an important step in the development of an integrated energy solution. It concluded that 1414 Degrees’ thermal energy storage system (TESS) would be more economical than concentrated solar power (CSP) as a replacement for fossil fuelled greenhouse farms.

ARUP was engaged to study the relative efficiencies and costs of integrating a 1414 Degrees TESS charged by solar PV into an advanced greenhouse facility (Smartfarm), to be located in the northern Adelaide Plains. The study looked at both on and off-grid scenarios comparing CSP and TESS with conventional diesel/gas installations. For the on-grid case, the direct steam CSP plant provides 20% of the power and all of the heat for the Smartfarm, similar to the successful Sundrop Farms facility near Port Augusta, whereas the TESS supplies all power and heat to operate the Smartfarm by time shifting both solar and off peak grid power. The analysis showed that the TESS option had lower capital and operating costs.

1414 Degrees Executive Chairman, Dr Kevin Moriarty commented, “This is good news for Smartfarm developers and other industries looking to decrease costs and increase renewable energy use.”

Dr Moriarty added, “Although the ARUP findings were focused on supplying renewable electricity and heat to greenhouse farms, the findings also imply a positive economic case for TESS compared to CSP exporting electricity to the grid. This is timely in the context of the financing difficulties of the Aurora power generation project proposed for Port Augusta in South Australia.”

He pointed out that “1414 Degrees is on a development path aimed at building TESS installations larger than the proposed Aurora plant, however, our implementation and capital requirements will be staged – limiting technical and capital risk to increase financing opportunities.”

The 1414 Degrees TESS also has the advantage of charging from any renewable source at prevailing prices, avoiding the upfront fixed cost of CSP power. Dr Moriarty explains, “Our power source for charging the TESS can be built locally or purchased from anywhere on the grid to provide for a flexible response to an evolving electricity market.”

Dr Moriarty said that, “Like CSP plants, 1414 Degrees TESS can contribute to a more robust electricity grid by firming renewable generation with spinning inertia from turbines and time shifting energy supply. In addition, the TESS can respond with fast frequency response and reduce emissions by displacing gas usage for heating. The result is a more extensive revenue stack for the business case.”

A large scale 1414 Degrees Smartfarm would deliver low cost firmed renewable electricity, displace gas, decrease emissions, and attract industry driving job creation.