The concentrated solar power (CSP) has potential to provide a sustainable energy solution for the Indian power system. A Megawatt scale grid interactive National Solar Thermal Research Facility sponsored by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is being by implemented by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. It is expected that this facility would boost indigenous efforts for technology development and result in the Indian industry gaining a competitive advantage in CSP plants. The goal is to facilitate cost effective CSP plants for the future.
The Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah, laid the foundation stone for the Solar Thermal Testing, Research and Simulation unit on January 10, 2010. The research facility will have a grid-connected solar thermal power plant of 1 MWe capacity. It will also have a test facility where companies and product developers can test the performance of different solar concentrator system, coatings and materials, components and systems of solar thermal power plants. This facility would also enable testing of new technologies, components and systems for solar thermal power. Along with the research facility a solar thermal power plant simulator is being prepared at IIT Bombay that simulates the performance of the actual solar thermal plant through component and system models.