Europe's first commercial CSP plant launched in Spain

Apr 02, 2007 02:00 AM

The European Commission has revealed that Europe's first commercial scale concentrating solar power plant has opened in Seville, Spain. The 11 MW plant has been designed to produce 23 GWh of electricity a year, enough to supply a population of 10,000 and avoid the emission of about 16,000 tons of CO2 each year.
The “PS10” solar project, which was partly funded with European Union funds, produces electricity via 624 movable mirrors, or heliostats. Each heliostat has a surface of 120 sq meters, which concentrates solar radiation to the top of a 115 meter-high tower where the solar receiver and the steam turbine are located.

The European Commission (EC) said that the use of concentrating solar power (CSP) is important as, although the solar radiation that reaches the earth is adequate for heating systems, it does not provide enough energy for an efficient thermodynamic cycle for electricity production. CSP plants use solar radiation as a high-temperature energy source to produce electricity viaconcentrating heliostats in a thermodynamic cycle.
The PS10 solar plant is the first of a set of solar electric power generation plants to be constructed in the same area, which will total more than 300 MW by 2013. The first stage of the plant, which is promoted by Abengoa, involved investment costs of EUR 35 mm. The EC said that EUR 5 mm of this came from the EU.

The EC commented that it has been involved in funding CSP research and development for 10 years and has contributed around EUR 25 mm to the field.
"These new technologies give Europe a new option to combat climate change and increase energy security while strengthening the competitiveness of the European industrial sector and creating jobs and growth," commented EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

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