solar thermal electric

Abener signs off first ISCC plant in the world

ONE (Office National de l’Electricité) recently granted Provisional Acceptance of the Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (hybrid solar-gas) plant built by Abener in Ain Beni Mathar (Morocco). This document certifies the proper operation of the plant, which is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

This milestone marks the beginning of the operation and maintenance of the Ain Beni Mathar ISCC hybrid solar-gas plant, which has also been entrusted to Abener for the next five years. After expiry of this period, ONE will be in charge of the full operation of the plant.

Abener revealed in a recent statement that “this project is highly relevant in strategic terms”, not only for Abener and the history of the company, but also, and most of all, for energy development in the region of northern Africa.

The government and the Royal House of Morocco, who are fully committed to promoting alternative sources of energy in the area, have closely followed the evolution of construction works for the plant, which Abener describes as “a real milestone in the history of the country”. In fact, at a formal inauguration ceremony held in May 2010, it was the King of Morocco, His Majesty Mohamed VI, who activated the entry into service of the plant. The ceremony was also attended by His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid and several VIP guests from the social and political world.

In addition, this project has been actively supported by the World Bank which provided a grant of $43 million (€32 million) through the Global Environmental Fund to install the solar field.

Ain Beni Mathar is the first ISCC hybrid solar-gas plant to enter service in the world, and has the highest capacity, with an output of 470 MW. 20 MW of this capacity is generated by energy coming from a 62-hectare solar field, made up of 224 parabolic trough collectors. The remaining output, i.e. 450 MW, is generated by a conventional combined cycle, consisting of one steam turbine (150 MW) and two gas turbines (150 MW x 2). According to Abener, “the combination of solar energy and conventional generation is a true mark of innovation, sustainability and efficiency”.

“This one of the most complex challenges we have ever faced at Abener. But despite the technical difficulties and our lack of previous experience in this type of facilities, we managed to complete the project successfully. This would have never been possible without the outstanding work carried out by the project team as a whole,” says the company.

Abener forms part of the Abengoa business group and focuses its activity on the engineering and execution of projects driving sustainable development. It is currently a key player in the international energy sector, operating in three business areas: solar, biofuel and generation.

The Abener Teyma consortium recently received CSP Today’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor of the Year award after the consortium was awarded the EPC contract for the 100MW Shams power plant in May 2010 following an international tender floated by Masdar. The group company, Abengoa Solar, also took this year’s Emerging Markets Achievement award.

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Abengoa Solar


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