solar thermal electric

Spain, Number 1 in Europe in thermoelectric solar energy

This declaration was made by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade last week during the opening of Iberdrola’s first solar thermal power plant in Puertollano, Spain, “the first commercial thermoelectric solar plant in Europe to use parabolic-cylinder collectors without an accumulation system”. Spain is also the first country in the world to start up a commercial solar thermal plant employing central tower technology and the first nation to bring on line a plant which uses molten salt heat storage.

Thermoelectric solar energy, i.e. using the heat of the sun to warm liquids to power turbines, is currently en vogue in Spain. This Mediterranean country, which has historically been a popular destination among sun seekers, was the first to move from the experimental to the commercial phase of solar thermal power projects (with the PS10 central tower plant in Seville, and with molten salt storage at Andasol 1, also in Andalusia) and is now the first country in Europe to connect up a solar thermal power plant equipped with parabolic-cylinder collectors. These installations demonstrate that thermoelectric solar technology, which until now has been experimental, is very much commercially viable. 

Sun, sea, sand and… now, solar thermal energy 

The Puertollano plant, the last of the three installations to be connected up, is also unusual in that it is 10% owned by IDAE (the Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving) of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, which demonstrates “the Spanish government’s commitment to renewable energies and public support for this technology, with Spain being the country with the highest installed capacity in Europe”. The remaining 90% has been financed by Iberdrola Renovables, global leader in wind power.  

The facility has a solar collection area of nearly 290,000 m2, occupies approximately 150 hectares and consists of 352 parabolic-cylinder collectors, fitted with 120,000 parabolic mirrors and 13,000 absorber tubes. Annual output of the 50 MW plant is estimated at more than 100 million kWh, equivalent to the energy consumption of 100,000 people, and will avoid the emission of approximately 90,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.  

In his opening speech, the Chairman of Iberdrola Renovables, Ignacio Galán recalled the moment two years ago when he announced plans to build the plant. “I said this was going to be a state of the art project in terms of technology and environment, and that it would play a leading role in fostering sustainable growth for Puertollano and its surrounding area,” he said. The plant has directly generated 60 new jobs in the area. 

Baterías con premio en la gran feria europea del almacenamiento de energía
El jurado de la feria ees (la gran feria europea de las baterías y los sistemas acumuladores de energía) ya ha seleccionado los productos y soluciones innovadoras que aspiran, como finalistas, al gran premio ees 2021. Independientemente de cuál o cuáles sean las candidaturas ganadoras, la sola inclusión en este exquisito grupo VIP constituye todo un éxito para las empresas. A continuación, los diez finalistas 2021 de los ees Award (ees es una de las cuatro ferias que integran el gran evento anual europeo del sector de la energía, The smarter E).