ACCIONA starts work on its third CSP plant in Spain, representing an investment of EUR 237m


Source: ACCIONA Energy

ACCIONA Energy has started construction work on a 50 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant at Majadas de Tiétar (Cáceres), representing an investment of 237 million euros. The facility, planned to enter service in summer 2010, will use solar trough technology to produce clean electricity equivalent to the consumption of 30,000 homes. It is the third CSP plant built by ACCIONA in Spain, after Alvarado I (Badajoz), which will enter service this summer, and Palma del Rio II (Córdoba), which will be completed by the spring of 2010. All these facilities have a capacity of 50 MW and use the same technology applied by ACCIONA in its 'Nevada Solar One' plant (64 MW), which has been operational since June 2007 in the US State of the same name.

In June 2009 ACCIONA expects to start construction work on its fourth CSP plant (Palma del Río I). This facility will also have a capacity of 50 MW and its entry into service is planned for the end of 2010. The company will thus achieve its objective of 200 MW of solar thermal power capacity installed in Spain by the end of 2010, making a very strong contribution to reaching the development objective for this technology under the national Renewables Plan: 500 MW by 2010. These four plants, together with 'Nevada Solar One', account for an overall investment of around 1.25 billion euros.

ACCIONA is currently going through administrative procedures for a fifth CSP plant -Alvarado II, again with a capacity of 50 MW -, which will be built after the others.

76 kilometers of solar trough collectors

The Majadas facility, like the others developed by ACCIONA in Spain, is based on solar trough collector technology, which the company has satisfactorily tested in its 'Nevada Solar One' plant, the biggest built in the world in the last 18 years.

The Majadas plant will have a solar field of 135 hectares (equivalent to 189 football pitches). Eight hundred solar collectors will be installed on the site, covering a total of 48 linear miles, equipped with a total of 192,000 mirrors. These mirrors concentrate the sun's rays onto collectors located in its focal line. Fluid runs through a circuit that heats it up to temperatures above 400 degrees. This fluid is used to produce water vapor and drive a conventional turbine that, connected to a generator, produces electricity.

The project means a major impact on the economic development of the area where it is located. It will create around 350 jobs in the construction phase and a further 31 in the operational phase, plus a large number of indirect and ancillary jobs in the area, located in the northern part of Cáceres province.

In-house technology

The production of the plant will avoid the emission of 97,000 tonnes of CO2 from coal-fired power stations. This will have a cleansing effect on the atmosphere equivalent to the photosynthesis of 5 million trees.

ACCIONA uses its own technology in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of this type of plant. A technology that has demonstrated its capability and efficiency in Nevada Solar One, where forecast production was exceeded by 9% last year to reach 136 million kilowatt-hours.

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