Hi-Biosoleo was, back in 2010, IDIE's first approach to what we saw as a clear necessity in the upcoming, high-renewable content energy sector: a coordinated, colaborative approach to renewable energy development, leveraging on the strengths and mitigating the weaknesses of each technology and resource to provide a firm, low-cost, 100% renewable solution.
A Hi-Biosoleo plant would combine Biomass, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Wind power in an integrated plant, modulating the wind farm's variable output with the steam turbine's regulation capability (nowadays, we would suggest using batteries, of course).
Biomass and CSP would be hybridized at the steam generation level, using both the biomass boiler and the thermal energy storage (TES) to multiply the number of degrees of freedom for regulation. This way, a stable output becomes feasible even when the renewable sources are variable.
As an additional benefit, the biomass consumption is a fraction of what a regular biomass plant of the same power and productivity would need, which tackles the main problem of biomass plant: securing the fuel supply.
And, as with every hybridization technology, the overall costs are reduced when compared to developing the plants separately: from permitting to operation, the benefits are evident, as is the reduced investment cost from having a single steam turbine for both CSP and biomass.
Hi-Biosoleo configuration mitigates the main inconvenience of RES: variable, weather-dependent operation.
The Hi-Biosoleo Consortium included 4 Spanish partners:
- IDIE, as project leader
- GECAL, S.A. as plant developer and wind power expert
- Ciemat-PSA as expert in CSP
- Technical University of Madrid (UPM) as expert in Biomass
Hi-Biosoleo received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Spanish call INNPACTO 2010, project number IPT-440000-2010-004.