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SOLAR based sCO2 Operating Low-cost plants

Project description

Make way for larger deployments of concentrated solar power in the EU

In light of the EU’s commitment to remove carbon emissions from the energy system, the market for concentrated solar power (CSP) is growing. With improvements in CSP technology advancing rapidly, an estimated 11 % of the EU's electricity may be produced by CSP by 2050. Countries with huge solar resources in the south, like Spain, could export CSP electricity to northern countries, such as Germany. The EU-funded SOLARSCO2OL project will present sCO2 cycles as a key enabling technology to facilitate a larger deployment of CSP in the EU. Led by an industry-oriented consortium, the project aims to be fully marketable by 2030.


According to JRC CSP platform, with an increased efficiency of component and price reduction, 11 % of EU electricity could be produced by CSP by 2050. In the EC energy strategy, CSP finds mention as a potential dispatchable RES thus increasing potential market/need for CSP if coupled with flexible, high performant and low CAPEX power conversion units. In this sense sCO2 has been worldwide studied for several years as enabling technology to promote CSP widespread. SOLARSCO2OL presents sCO2 cycles as key enabling technology to facilitate a larger deployment of CSP in EU panorama which is composed (also considering available surfaces and DNI) by medium temperature application (most of them Parabolic trough – Tmax = 550°c) and small/medium size plants enhancing their performances (efficiency, flexibility, yearly production) and reducing their LCOE. Considering that compared to organic and steam based Rankine, sCO2 cycles achieve high efficiencies over a wide temperature of range of heat sources with lower CAPEX, lower OPEX, no use of water as operating fluid (a plus for arid CSP plants area), smaller system footprint, higher operational flexibility, SOLARSCO2OL would like to demonstrate in Evora Molten Salt platform facility the first MW Scale EU sCO2 power block operating coupled with a MS CSP. SOLARSCO2OL will capitalize previous EU expertise (SCARABEUS, sCO2-flex, MUSTEC), bridging the gap with extra-EU countries R&D on these topics and studying different plant layouts also to enhance CSP plants flexibility to enable them to provide soon grid flexibility services. SOLARSCO2OL is driven by an industry oriented consortium which promotes the replication of this concept towards its complete marketability in 2030: this will be properly studied via scale up feasibility studies, environmental and social analysis encouraging business cases in EU (particularly in Italy and Spain as two of the most promising EU CSP countries) and Morocco thanks to MASEN.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 447 822,62
16129 Genova

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Nord-Ovest Liguria Genova
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 639 746,61

Participants (21)