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German consortium holds inauguration ceremony for the Andasol 3 solar thermal power plant | Europe

German consortium holds inauguration ceremony for the Andasol 3 solar thermal power plant

Today saw the festive inauguration of the Andasol 3 solar thermal power plant by a consortium of five German companies in the Spanish province of Granada. The completion of the third Andasol power plant on a site measuring some two square kilometres has meant the creation of the largest European solar power plant - located in Andalusia, southern Spain. Attending the power plant inauguration ceremony were the General Secretary of Industry and Energy for
Andalusia, Isabel De Haro Aramberri, as well as board members of those companies with a stake in Andasol 3: Stadtwerke München, RWE Innogy, RheinEnergie, Ferrostaal and Solar Millennium.
Dr. Kurt Mühlhäuser, Chairman of the SWM managing board: ?Andasol 3 is a perfect example of how the energy transition needs to be realised at a European level. It can only succeed if the various parties involved ? as here at Andasol 3 ? are united in a common aim and if the political conditions are favourable. For SWM this power plant represents another major component in its drive to expand its renewables capacity. By 2025 we aim to be producing enough green electricity in our own installations to be able to meet the demand of the whole of Munich ? that?s
7.5 billion kilowatt hours. Munich will thus become the first city in the world with over a million inhabitants to reach this target. With the ten-fold increase in our production capacity ? already up and running or still in the planning ? we are making huge strides in the right direction.?
Dr. Hans Bünting, Chief Financial Officer of RWE Innogy: ?Andasol 3 proves that converting Europe?s electricity production methods can be achieved far more efficiently if we take an international approach, rather than pursuing national concepts. I see this power plant as a role model for the rest of Europe; it may even generate the impetus needed for the development of a European market with common regulations for renewable energy sources.?
Construction on Andasol 3 began in mid 2008. Thanks to high local levels of direct solar irradiation, Andalusia is one of a handful of locations in Europe that is ideally suited to solar thermal power generation. The power plant, with an installed output of 50 megawatts, was completed on schedule this summer. It is currently running in test mode; commercial operations are due to begin in the coming weeks. From that point on Andasol 3 will generate approximately 165 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year, saving some 150,000 tonnes of CO2 when compared with a modern hard coal-fired power plant. In all, the three more or less identical Andasol power plants can meet the electricity needs of about half a million people using power generated by solar energy.

The Andasol 3 power plant is made up of approximately 205,000 parabolic reflectors which collect the sunlight. These giant curved mirrors concentrate the heat generated by solar energy and transmit it to a heat transfer fluid. A heat exchanger then feeds the thermal energy into a hot water/steam circuit. The steam drives the turbine, just as in a traditional power plant. The generator connected then produces the electricity. By using a thermal storage tank, any
electricity generated during the day can subsequently be supplied on demand. The storage tank holds 30,000 tonnes of a special blend of salts. Its storage capacity is sufficient for eight hours.
Meaning that Andasol 3 can go on generating electricity reliably and feeding it into the grid even after sundown. At peak times up to 600 people were involved in the construction of the power plant. About 50 permanent jobs in the operation and maintenance of the facility have been created.

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Posted by Gloria Llopis | 2011-09-30