Starting work on what is being called one of the largest solar thermal power plants in the world, Solar Millennium, via its subsidiary, Flagsol, has begun development on the 50MW Andasol 3 plant in southern Spain for completion in 2011. Situated on the Plateau of Guadix in the province of Granada, Andasol 3 is the third of the Andasol projects in the southern Spain region using parabolic trough technology.
Andasol 1 is grid connected, having been officially inaugurated last week, while Andasol 2 is in the test phase. Each of the three plants will feature a collector surface area of over 1.5 million m2 and will each reach an output of approximately 170GWh per annum.
Close to 210,000 parabolic mirrors will be installed for Andasol 3. Currently, the construction of the plant is at an advanced stage, with the collector mountings foundations being cast and the collector assembly and preparation due to begin shortly.
Commissioners Stadtwerke München and RWE Innogy have turned to Solar Millennium’s expertise in the area to develop the plant in collaboration with MAN Ferrostaal and RheinEnergie. Stadtwerke München holds a 48.9% share in the project company Marquesado Solar S.L., while RWE Innogy and RheinEnergie jointly hold 25.1% of the shares. The remaining 26% is owned by an investment holding company of MAN Ferrostaal and Solar Millennium.
“Parabolic trough technology sets new benchmarks for solar electricity generation”, commented Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Chairman of the Executive Board of RWE Innogy. “It can be deployed on a large scale and generates electricity in a reliable and power grid-friendly way even after sunset thanks to a huge molten salt thermal storage system. This allows the plant to generate electricity for almost twice the amount of hours as a solar power plant without the storage system.”