Pacific Gas & Electric has signed a contract with the renewables unit of Portuguese energy conglomerate Martifer to supply 106.8MW of solar thermal-biomass hybrid power to
Under the deal, two plants located near Coalinga in central
The hybrid nature of the plants may help to win over critics of solar-thermal plants, who argue that the energy produced is too unreliable, since it relies on uninterrupted sunshine. Martifer’s hybrid technology will allow the plants to run on biomass during periods of cloud cover and overnight, ensuring consistency of supply.
According to Andrew Byrnes, one of the project’s developers, “When the sun is shining during peak hours, it will just be the solar facility. As the sun sets, biomass will be available to support the solar generation, and then at night the biomass will run purely on its own.”
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