MATS, a solar power plant solution to be boosted by WEF-CAP


The MATS project “Multipurpose Applications by Thermodynamic Solar”, co-funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, aims at the development, build and demonstration of a multipurpose facility to produce electrical power and water supply for a community of at least 1000 people in a desert area in Egypt, through the following main steps:

  • Solar energy is captured and stored as high temperature heat, to generate superheated steam to drive a thermo-electrical steam cycle;
  • It is also supplemented with a gas fuel to demonstrate the best integration between solar (renewable) and conventional heat sources for a stable heat and power supply, and;
  • Electrical power production is combined with a desalination unit using residual heat to produce demineralized water from salty water.

This way, it will be possible to generate electricity and co-generate fresh water in a desert region, supporting social and economic growth of the area.

The project MATS will support the diffusion of CSP (Concentrating Solar Power) technology in Mediterranean Countries as well as the start-up and development of specialized industries in the sector. The MATS project is focused on the innovative CSP technology developed by ENEA, as an improvement of its Solar Thermodynamic technology based on molten salts as heat transfer fluid. This technology allows combined heat and power production from solar source integrated with renewable fuels, such as biomass, biogas, industrial residues. 

The objective of the project is the full-scale demonstration of technology through the realization and operation of a multipurpose facility in Egypt. The thermal energy produced by this plant will be used as energy source in a desalination unit included in the installation, as well as for district heating and cooling.

The MATS Consortium includes partners from Italy, Egypt, France, Germany and the UK. The lead partner of the Project is the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA). The lead Egyptian research partner is the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) in Egypt. 

Thanks to the successful cooperation between Egyptian and European research organizations and companies, MATS Concentrating Solar Power plant has been built inside the City for Science and Technology (SRTA-City) in Borg El-Arab. The plant is the first of its kind in the world with its unique features of environmentally friendly fluids, easy management and flexibility of operation.

As a relevant experience and example of good practice, MATS is expected to be highlighted by WEF – CAP in upcoming discussions and workshops related to good policy development.

More information about the project can be found here.

MATS developed a video that is available here.