A new hybrid power plant to be built in Turkey will combine a traditional gas-fired steam turbine with solar thermal power and wind power, according to GE. Itâ€™s a step toward integrating renewable sources into the traditional power grid, using steam and mirrors.
But the real gain may be in the ease with which wind and solar are being added to the power grid. Instead of localized solar arrays, or distant behemoth wind farms, the renewable sources are being added to a traditional-style power plant. The varying systems can share a control center as well as connections to the grid, which can make them cheaper and easier to integrate. GE says it can cut the cost of a solar thermal system in half,