Torresol commissions 19MW Gemasolar CSP plant with central tower and thermal storage capabilities

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Masdar and Sener’s joint venture, Torresol Energy, has commissioned its 19.9MW commercial-scale Gemasolar concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Seville, Spain. The CSP plant features a central tower receiver and thermal storage capabilities, which have begun supplying 25,000 homes in the Andalucía region of Spain with solar energy.

Using 2,650 mirrors across 457 acres of land, the system is said to be able to generate 15 hours of energy production without sunlight. Temperatures can surpass 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit at the central receiver on the top of the tower, which uses molten salt as a heat transfer medium that attains temperatures over 932 degrees Fahrenheit. This is said to allow hotter and more pressurized steam to be delivered to the turbine, compared to parabolic trough technology.

Frank Wouters, director of Masdar Power, said, “Masdar is currently working on other solar power projects within the UAE including Shams One and Noor One projects, each with 100MW capacity. We will continue to work closely with industry leaders in the development of projects and ensure they are commissioned and connected to local grids as part of our larger efforts to adopt clean and renewable energy.”

Torresol Energy received €171 million in financing from financial institution such as Banco Popular, Banesto ICO and the European Investment Bank in order to bring the project to fruition. Sener provided the technology and engineering detail support as well as part of the EPC and commissioning responsibility for the plant.

Sener advised that the Gemasolar CSP plant used innovate technology to power the system. In particular, the CSP plant’s molten salt storage system and receiver absorbs 95% of the radiation from the sun’s spectrum and delivers this energy to the molten salt compound, which moves inside the receiver and is then able to heat steam and operate the steam turbines.

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