Gemasolar, the world’s first solar energy power plant capable of producing energy 24 hours a day, has been installed this month in the Seville region of Spain by Torresol Energy.
It is the first commercial power plant to use molten salt rather than oil, the use of which, according to The New York Times, allows the plant to operate at a temperature of 550°C (1,022°F).
By running at a hotter temperature than traditional solar plants, Gemasolar can produce higher pressurized steam to drive the turbines, increasing the plants efficiency.
Storing the hot salt also enables the plant to continue producing electricity for up to 15 hours, even when there is no sunlight.
As Dr. Jaber said to The New York Times, “Ultimately, this technology advances the potential of providing solar energy at competitive prices.”
Gemasolar runs a 19.9 megawatt turbine that can provide power to 25,000 homes in southern Spain, and help save more than 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
As well as the plant in Seville, Torresol Energy are developing two more 50 megawatt plants in nearby Cadiz with the hope of providing electricity to 40,000 homes, and save an additional 90,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Torresol Energy is a joint venture by investment group Masdar, the Abu Dhabi government-backed renewable energy company, and Sener, a Spanish construction and engineering firm.
Masdar Power, a part of the Masdar group, is involved in several new renewable energy projects, including; the 100 megawatt Shams-One solar power plant in the United Arab Emirates; and the 1000 megawatt London Array offshore wind farm. It all points to Masdar’s commitment to becoming a global force in renewable energy.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…