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Keywords:

  • solar multiple;
  • levelized cost of energy;
  • capacity factor

India is fast realizing its need to reduce its dependence on carbon intensive, nonrenewable energy sources and shift its focus to making greater use of renewable energy sources such as solar power. Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is one of the several programs launched by Government of India to capitalize on country's enormous solar potential. One of the aims of JNNSM includes construction of concentrated solar power (CSP) demonstration projects, particularly in the north-western region which is blessed with high direct normal irradiation (DNI). In this study, system advisor model (SAM) has been used to develop technical performance and energy generation cost estimates for different parabolic trough designs. The different plant designs include two solar-only plants (differing in solar multiples) without storage or hybridization, one solar-only plant with storage capacity of 4 h, and one solar trough plant integrated with natural gas hybridization. Trough plant steam cycle performance is modeled in SAM using Jodhpur, Rajasthan as the reference site. This analysis aims to provide vital technical criteria and levelized energy cost estimates that can prove instrumental for the design of CSP demonstration plants in Rajasthan. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 32: 1247–1254, 2013