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Gemasolar plant achieves 24-hour production

Masdar JV solar plant uses molten salt for uninterrupted power supply

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Masdar's Spanish solar project supplies 24-hour solar power. (Getty Images)
Masdar's Spanish solar project supplies 24-hour solar power. (Getty Images)

Masdar’s joint-venture concentrated solar power plant in Spain has used cutting-edge technology to supply an uninterrupted 24 hours of electricity to the country’s network.

Gemasolar, a solar plant in Fuentes de Andalucia, Spain, is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and SENER, a leading Spanish engineering and construction company. It stores solar energy in molten salt, as part of a thermal-transfer technology developed by SENER, making it capable of 15 hours’ electricity production without solar radiation, overcoming fluctuations in energy supply.

Explaining how the techniques were used to produce 24 hours of electricity after just one month of commercial operation, Diego Ramirez, director of production at Torresol Energy, said: “The high performance of the installations coincided with several days of excellent solar radiation, which made it possible for the hot salt storage tank to reach full capacity.” He also added that the company is hoping the next few days will see the plant average 20 hours of electricity production per day.

With the ability to continue producing electricity after the sun has gone down, the 19.9 megawatt plant is capable of supplying electricity to 25,000 households.

Director of Masdar Power, Frank Wouters said: “The prove-out of both this technology and the commercial approach we have taken to funding and operating the facility are of huge significance to the solar industry and we are very proud of these twin achievements. They will help inform our progress as we expand our portfolio of renewable energy facilities.”
 

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