Experimental concentrating solar power plant (CSP) and concentrating photovoltaic plant (CPV) with energy storage technologies.
The solar facility in the industrial area of Ottana, realized by ENAS – the Sardinian Water Company, has been financed by Autonomous Sardinia Region.
The plant of energy production from RES is characterised by innovative and experimental technologies. The specific project aimed to create energy production programmed profiles in order to minimize the grid disturbance.
The whole plant is composed of two distinct systems of energy production:
- a thermodynamic solar power plant (a 600 kWe CSP) with thermal storage;
- a concentration photovoltaic solar plant (a 400 kWe CPV) with electrochemical storage.
The process diagram is divided into functional blocks:
- Concentrating photovoltaic plant with Biaxial trackers
- Electrochemical storage plant
- Concentrating solar power plant
- Thermal storage plant.
The CPV plant, composed of 37 dual-axis trackers, determines a direct conversion from solar energy into electrical energy with the possibility of storage of the produced electrical energy in the electrochemical storage plant, consisting of Sodium-Nickel batteries.
The CSP plant, instead, uses solar energy to heat an energy carrier fluid (diathermic oil) which, by means of a heat exchanger, transfers its energy to an organic fluid that moves a Rankine cycle turbine (ORC).
The whole plant can be considered an innovative solar facility because it is characterised by the integration of different concentrating solar and storage technologies.

Resources needed

Total amount for the design and realization of the project : € 13.117.844,32. The project has been funded by the Industry Department of the Sardinia Region for an amount of 10 million euro and by the Public Works Department of the Sardinia Region for an amount of 2 million euro.

Evidence of success

The experimental solar facility in Ottana is the first industrial-scale plant of the world that integrates solar thermodynamic and photovoltaic technologies and two innovative thermal and electrochemical storage technologies. It can play a strategic role for the creation of new smart grids thanks to the implemented technological solutions. The expected energy production is of about 1600 MWh/year, with schedulable input profiles.

Difficulties encountered

During the realization of the project several skills were acquired in the field of: work supervision and innovative installations. The project was realized thanks to the collaboration of the applied research sectors of Sardegna Ricerche and of the University of Cagliari.

Potential for learning or transfer

Main objectives of the project:
• Promote development of electricity production from renewable energy sources, through the use of thermodynamic solar technology;
• Test an innovative energy production model for highly efficiency plants, with the study of new technologies and the development of technical skills in the field of energy production from RES;
• Reduce energy costs of water distribution and limit water tariffs for users;
• Exploit the results in other Sardinian and Mediterranean areas, by exporting the proposed model and technology.
The experimental activities on the operation of the whole power plant will be conducted by Sardegna Ricerche with the collaboration of the University of Cagliari. At the end of the experimental phase, the plant will be managed by ENAS.
The pilot power plant has been designed in order to produce electricity with scheduled profiles according to the system status, the electrical grid requests and the weather forecast.

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Main institution
Sardinia region
Sardegna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
June 2011
End Date
September 2017


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