Two 50 Megawatt Concentrating Solar Power Plants In Southern Spain

concentrating solar power (CSP) array in Spain

Abengoa Solar and E.ON Climate & Renewables have formed a partnership that will see them jointly own and operate two 50MW Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants. The plants which are already under construction are located in Ecija (Seville), Southern Spain, one of the best areas in Europe in terms of solar radiation.

The 50:50 partnership is aimed to invest a around of 550 million Euros into the two plants which will start operation in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The solar facilities will produce enough power to supply 52,000 homes and avoid the emission equivalent to 63,000 tonnes of CO2.

The participation of E.ON in the projects is however still subject to the EU-Commission approval under merger control.

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, explained: “Having E.ON on as a partner in these projects will allow us to continue growing at the speed we want and to improve our capabilities in areas where E.ON has extensive experience.”

Frank Mastiaux, CEO of E.ON Climate & Renewables said: “Solar Power will be the next strong pillar in E.ON’s renewables portfolio. Our entry into CSP complements our recent moves into the photovoltaic business and we will now stand on two feet in solar in the future. I am also delighted to be working with Abengoa. We have found an experienced partner with whom we want to drive CSP to new levels of performance.”

The President of E.ON Espana, Miguel Antonanzas, pointed out: “With this partnership for high quality projects E.ON continues its commitment to enhance its portfolio of 3.700MW of generation capacity in the Iberian Peninsula, of which over 1.100MW are already from renewables sources.”

The plants in Ecija will utilize Parabolic Trough technology, a solution developed in the 1980s that Abengoa Solar has in recent years tested and enhanced at the Solucar Platform plants in Sanlucar la Mayor, Seville.

A Parabolic Trough is a large, curved mirror that sits on a motorized base, allowing it to follow the movement of the sun throughout the day. The mirror’s unique parabolic shape is designed to gather a great deal of sunlight and then reflect that light onto a single point, concentrating the solar power. A receiver tube sits at the point where the mirror concentrates all the sunlight. The tube is filled with a synthetic heat transfer oil, heated by the mirror’s light to around 750 F (400 C). This superheated oil is then pumped from the solar field to a nearby power block, where the oil’s heat is converted to high-pressure steam in a series of heat exchangers. This steam pushes a conventional steam turbine, creating electricity.

E.ON is investing 8 billions of Euros in renewable generation and climate protection projects between 2007-2011, and will play a leading role in the development of the renewables industry worldwide. E.ON currently has over 2.8GW of renewable capacity in operation which makes the company a leading global renewable energy player.

Abengoa is a technology company that applies innovative solutions for sustainability in the infrastructure, environmental and energy sectors. It is listed on the Spanish stock exchange and has an active presence in over seventy countries, in which it operates through its five Business Units: Solar, Bioenergy, Environmental Services, Information Technologies and Industrial Construction and Engineering.

Abengoa Solar focuses its activity on the development and application of technology for generating electrical power with the sun. Abengoa Solar is building 350MW in solar plants with an additional 31 MW already operating with the first two commercial solar towers worldwide.

E.ON is one of the world’s leading power and gas companies. With annual sales of more than EUR86 billion and over 93,000 employees, it is already one of the world’s largest investor-owned power and gas companies and one of the largest compliance buyers of carbon credits. E.ON Climate & Renewables, headquartered in Duesseldorf, Germany, is responsible for E.ON Group’s global renewables and climate protection activities.

Both companies are founding members of the Desertec Industrial Initiative to develop secure renewable energy production in the desert regions of the Middle East and Northern Africa.

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