16 November, 2009

EIB provides EUR 80 million for Gemasolar’s innovative solar power project

The European Investment Bank (EIB) announces a EUR 80 million loan to GEMASOLAR 2006 SAU to finance the construction and commissioning of a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Fuentes de Andalucía (province of Seville). EIB Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa and the Chairman of Torresol Energy, Enrique Sendagorta, signed the finance contract in Madrid today.

The EIB Vice-President hailed “this important technological development, which chimes perfectly with EU energy policy and which the Bank is proud to finance. New energy technologies are essential to meeting the EU’s climate change mitigation, energy security and corporate competitiveness targets”.

Enrique Sendagorta, Torresol Energy’s Chairman, said “we are highly satisfied with the EIB’s support for the launch of Gemasolar, which is a truly innovative solar power plant and the world’s first commercial-scale project built with this technology. We are confident that central tower technology using molten salt offers the greatest development potential for the future”.

With a nameplate power of 17 MW, the new plant is a global pioneer in the commercial application of CSP technology and the only existing commercial-scale solar power demonstration project based on a central tower receiver and heliostat field and an innovative molten salt heat storage system. This storage system will allow independent power generation for up to 15 hours with no solar input while increasing energy efficiency by enabling electricity production for some 6,600 hours a year – around 2.5-3 times as much as other renewable energies.

Gemasolar is the flagship project of Torresol Energy Investment SA, owned 60% by the Spanish engineering group SENER and 40% by Masdar, the government of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energies development company. The Gemasolar plant will supply clean and secure energy to 25,000 households, reduce CO2 emissions by more than 30,000 tonnes a year and create around 1 000 direct jobs during the construction phase.

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