Abengoa Solar’s first high-temperature power tower, Eureka, was unveiled today by Martín Soler Márquez, Director of Innovation, Science and Enterprise for the Andalusian Regional Government.
This power tower is intended to test, the only plant featuring these characteristics in operation in Andalusia and Europe, on an experimental basis, a new type of receiver that will achieve the higher temperatures needed for higher-efficiency thermodynamic power cycles. The aim of this new technology is to increase plant performance, thereby reducing both generating costs and the area of the solar field.
This experimental plant occupies a 16,000-squarefoot portion of the Solúcar Platform and uses 35 heliostats and a 164-foot tower which houses the experimental superheating receiver. The power output capacity of the experimental plant is approximately 2MW. The plant includes a thermal energy storage system supplying power supply to the grid for short periods when there is no sunlight.
According to Rafael Osuna, General Manger Abengoa Solar New Technologies, “this marks the beginning of the next experimental phase for this high-potential solar power tower technology which could lead to an important step forward in our goals of generating clean electricity at competitive prices. Our significant investment in research and development has made this groundbreaking concentrating solar power technology a reality”.
Abengoa Solar now has three solar power towers in operation, two for commercial use and this experimental tower.
The new plant is part of the Solúcar Platform, a solar thermal and photovoltaic solar installation complex scheduled for completion in 2013. Thanks to its 300-megawatt power output, the plant will supply clean electricity to 153,000 households and eliminate the emission of 185,000 tons of CO2 per year, reaching a total of four million tons over the course of its useful life.
The Solúcar Platform also features a research and development area that is building several demonstration plants for new technologies. This makes the platform the only place in the world with installations employing practically every type of solar technology available, whether in commercial use or under demonstration.
Abengoa Solar focuses its activity on the development and application of technology for generating electrical power with the sun.
Abengoa is a technology company that applies innovative solutions for sustainability in the infrastructure, environmental, and energy sectors. The company is listed on the Spanish stock exchange and is present in more than seventy countries, where it operates through its five Business Units: Solar, Bioenergy, Environmental Services, Information Technologies, and Industrial Engineering and Construction.