Concentrating Solar Power
Leading the way in CSP technology
Concentrating Solar Power - also referred to as Solar Thermal Power - is one of ACCIONA Energy's business lines and one of the renewable technologies with the best growth potential.
ACCIONA was the first Spanish company with an operational CSP plant with solar trough technology: the Nevada Solar One (NSO) facility in the Nevada desert (USA).
Grid-connected in June 2007, the 64 MW facility exceeded production forecasts by 9% in its first year in service. The satisfactory experience acquired with NSO is a guarantee for new projects in the Spanish and US markets, and also for the capital markets.
In Spain, ACCIONA Energy has invested around 1,200 million euros in five 50 MW plants in five years. The first was grid-connected in September 2009, two were completed in the last quarter of 2010, the forth was finished in July, 2011 and the fifth one became operational in August, 2012.
These five plants alone in Spain will use a clean and inexhaustible energy source - the Sun - to produce enough electricity to power more than 133,000 homes. This will avoid the emission of 421,000 metric tons of CO2 a year, with a cleansing effect on the atmosphere similar to that produced by a forest of 21 million trees through the process of photosynthesis.
On February 2011, ACCIONA S.A. sold a 15% stake in ACCIONA Termosolar S.L. to Mitsubishi Corporation. ACCIONA Termosolar S.L., a holding company of ACCIONA Energy, owns the first four ACCIONA's CSP plants installed in Spain.
CSP plants saw considerable development in the US between 1985 and 1991; during that period nine facilities were installed in California's Mojave Desert, with a total capacity of 354 MW.
The problems that have emerged since then (for a number of reasons) are now being overcome through a new strategy aimed at encouraging the installation of renewable energy sources, both at federal and state level.
ACCIONA has proprietary technology in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of CSP plants, the most consolidated renewable energy in the market. The technical team at Nevada Solar One - part of ACCIONA Solar Power - took an active part in the facilities previously installed in California and has a track record of experience in the field.
In CSP plants, the solar field is equipped with parabolic cylinder troughs that concentrate the sun's rays onto collectors (mirrors) located on the focal line, through which a fluid circulates and heats up to high temperatures. This fluid is then used to produce steam, which drives a conventional turbine connected to a generator to produce electricity.
CSP plants have the advantage that their maximum production takes place in the middle of the day, when electricity demand is usually higher.
Download brochure: ACCIONA, technology and experience in CSP (pdf, 894 KB)