The Gemasolar solar thermal power plant in Seville, Spain, has recently been visited by several top managers and dignitaries from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, including the State Secretary for Universities, Research, Development and Innovation, Ángeles Heras, and the Managing Director of Research, Development and Innovation, Teresa Riesgo. The delegation that visited the Gemasolar plant also included the President of the Implementation Working Group for the European Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, Marta March, as well as CDTI’s (Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology) European Program Manager, María Luisa Revilla. The delegation was received by Diego Ramírez and José Ignacio Ortega, both from Torresol Energy, Juan Ignacio Unda, Advisor of the SENER Group, and Sergio Relloso, from SENER’s Renewable Energies Department.
In 2011, Gemasolar, became the first solar thermal power plant in the world with tower and molten salt storage technology to be launched on a commercial scale, and shortly afterwards it started to supply power to the grid uninterruptedly for 24 hours. Furthermore, it was officially inaugurated at that time in the presence of the Spanish and UAE Sovereigns, and since then has constantly drawn the attention of numerous governments, institutions and media around the world who have come to visit it. SENER was responsible for supplying all its technology and design engineering, as well as supervising its construction and commissioning.
Stemming from its success, Gemasolar laid the foundations for what is now Noor Ouarzazate III, the world’s largest solar tower power plant, which produces 150 MW of power and has an 8-hour molten salt storage capacity. Once more, thanks to SENER, responsible for the technology, engineering, construction, commisioning and start-up, this power plant – already in operation – has yet again set a new milestone in the field of renewable energies.
Noor Ouarzazate III and Gemasolar have helped to place SENER at the top of global technology ranking, not only in the field of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) but also in high-temperature molten salt energy storage systems, with a high potential for development in today’s global electricity system.