First solar - combined cycle hybrid plant in the world to be built in Algeria

The project, which is being promoted jointly by Abener and Neal, has been called Solar Power Plant 1 (SPP1). The initiative has a lifespan of 25 years and all the energy produced will be sold to Algerian public utility Sonatrach.

The plant will have a 25MW field of parabolic threads that will provide thermal energy to a combined 130MW cycle facility. The solar area will be around 180,000 m2, said Abener in a press release.

The main feature of the project is the electric use of the gas-turbine heat by the steam turbine. This is a really efficient design, as the solar investment is minimized due to the synergies with the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions are lower than in a conventional plant. (PCAT).

The agreement ceremony was joined by Sonatrach, Sonelgal and NEAL Directors, together with Mr Manuel Valverde, Abener's CEO. In March 2004 Algeria became the first non OECD country to launch a solar electric thermal incentive program aimed at diversifying its energy sources and making use of its vast solar resources. The government set the objective of covering 5% of its electricity production with renewable sources by 2010. Also, Algeria has plans to provide electricity to Europe through some of the submarine grid projects under development at the moment. Some studies indicate that only 1% of the Sahara Desert area, if covered by solar electric thermal plants, would be able to provide electricity for the whole world. Food for thought. Qatar'Pakistan

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