Clean Power

Published on December 18th, 2012 | by Andrew


100MW Concentrating Solar Power Plant Commissioned In Spain

December 18th, 2012 by  

Abengoa has commissioned its latest concentrating solar power (CSP) project, the Castilla-La Mancha Solar Complex in Spain. Comprised of two identical 50-megawatt (MW) parabolic trough plants, which reflect and focus the sun’s rays on receiver tubes filled with heat transfer fluids that are heated to approximately 400 degrees Celsius (ºC) (752ºF). The fluid circulates through heat exchangers and produces steam, which is then used to drive a conventional steam turbine.

The Castilla-La Mancha Solar Complex will do its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions — Abengoa estimates some 63,000 tons of CO2 per year will not be released into the atmosphere as a result of the new power plant. The project has also had significant socioeconomic benefits in the community.

Solar Jobs, Clean Power on the Spanish Plain

At its peak, 1,650 construction jobs were created, along with 90 permanent, full-time operation and maintenance positions. Adding to the local economic boost, locally manufactured components were used in building the CSP plant, according to Abengoa’s press release.

Local and state government leaders joined Abengoa senior executives in commissioning Castilla-La Mancha.

Abengoa is also building a CSP plant some 70 miles southwest of Phoenix. Now over 80% complete, the 280-MW Solana CSP plant is being equipped with a molten salt thermal storage system, which will enable stored power to be distributed on demand, even when the sun’s not shining.

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About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

  • Daniel Coffey

    I like solar PV better due to the lack of losses in the steam, turbine, etc. All those moving parts eat up energy, which otherwise would become electricity more directly. I understand the arguments about later operational times and the like due to thermal enertia, but the reality is that losses in the system are large, especially if you use steam as the working material to move the turbine/generators.

    PV is very low risk, no or few moving parts, and pretty much just works. See the Soitec Concentrating PV, a system which is about 28% conversion, several times the best thermal processes.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If we had extremely inexpensive storage (1 cent per kWh, for example) then we might be able to run on nothing but solar. We’d also need some massive transmission ability to move power from the year-round sunny places to the not-sunny-in-the-winter places.

      Seems to me we’re kind of stuck with including wind, geothermal and most everything else we can devise in order to make costs reasonable.

    • I’ve got some interesting pieces and interviews on CSP vs PV coming. Stay tuned.

  • Heramb Phadake

    Very Good News!! This will boost the Concentrated Solar thermal power…..

  • GREAT News!

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