Sener and Masdar form solar JV to develop CSP plants
The Spanish engineering group Sener and Masdar, the company behind an eponymous $15 billion eco-metropolis set to be built in Abu Dhabi, have joined forces by creating a solar joint venture called Torresol Energy (Torresol: Sun Tower, in English).
This JV will commence work on three solar power plants in Spain with an approximate combined value of $ 1.25 billion, one of which will be a CSP Central Tower Receiver System (Gemasolar 2006 -17 MW). In a solar tower, mirrors reflect light to generate heat at the tower top where steam is made to turn a turbine. The other two are 50 MW parabolic trough plants to be built in Seville and Cadiz.
Separately, MASDAR is developing CSP plants in Abu Dhabi, and their flagship plant “Shams 1” is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Torresol´s goal is to reach an installed base in production of around 320 Mw over the next 5 years and to approach 1,000 Mw in 10 years. Currently, there are only about 500 megawatts of concentrated solar power in operation worldwide.
Torresol will also try breaking into the U.S. market with tower systems in the Southeast.
In every new project Torresol Energy expects to introduce and test new technologies with the long term objectives of making CSP a very competitive and reliable technology.
In fact, Sener, besides an extensive experience in fields such as aerospace, has been working for almost a decade in the development of solar thermal power technology.
The company is presently designing and building, in a joint venture with ACS/Cobra, three 50 MW parabolic through plants (Andasol) with molten salt storage in Southern Spain (Granada).
Model of Torresol Central Tower Receiver, courtesy of Torresol
SENER will own a 60 percent share of Torresol Energy, with MASDAR owning the remaining 40 percent.