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eSolar, under the Baseload CSP FOA, designed a 100-MW, 75% capacity factor, molten salt power tower plant, based around a molten salt receiver and heliostat field module with a nominal thermal rating of 50 MWth. They used a modular approach, which can be scaled through replication of the receiver/field module to meet output and capacity factor requirements.


eSolar developed the preliminary design of its first commercial molten salt CSP plant, including all molten salt components (receiver, field piping, thermal storage, and steam generator) and their integration with eSolar's heliostat technology and a conventional reheat steam turbine power block. The goal was to design, build, and demonstrate a full prototype module in the final phase of the project, greatly reducing most technical risks associated with commercial deployment. This prototype includes:

  • A fully qualified solar receiver system
  • A next-generation solar collector system
  • A sub-scale thermal storage system
  • An advanced steam generation system
Shown is eSolar's 100-MW, 75% capacity factor plant configuration.


eSolar pioneered the design, construction, and testing of a full-scale molten salt power plant module with an optimized salt receiver, heliostats, salt transport system, thermal storage system, and steam generator. Key components include:

  • A modular molten salt power tower design utilizing shorter towers (100 meters), which will enable rapid deployment and custom scaling of capacity factor without re-engineering the entire system
  • Smaller, mass-produced, factory-built heliostats (1.1 m2)
  • A modular, factory-built salt receiver
  • A distributed molten salt transport system
  • Hybridization with natural gas or biofuels.

Final Report

J. E. Pacheco, C. Moursund, D. Rogers; D. Wasyluk. "Conceptual Design of a 100 MWe Modular Molten Salt Power Tower Plant" in Proceedings of SolarPACES 2011, Granada Spain, September 20-23, 2011.

​Learn about other DOE competitive awards for concentrating solar power research that are in progress.