Torresol Energy signs collaboration agreement with the municipality of San José del Valle, Spain
Torresol Energy has signed a collaboration agreement with the municipality of San José del Valle in the province of Cádiz (Spain), the location of its Valle 1 and Valle 2 power plants, which were designed and built by SENER. Under the agreement, Torresol Energy will work with the city council from 2015 to 2019, contributing a total of 36,000 Euros for scholarships which will help local residents improve their qualifications and thus broaden their prospects for professional development and employment. This program is part of the corporate social responsibility plan Torresol Energy has been implementing in the community.
The agreement will result in the company financing two annual scholarships: a 6,000 Euros scholarship for advanced studies and degrees in Industrial Engineering, Power Engineering, and Chemistry; and a 3,000 Euros scholarship for professional occupational training in the technical specialties of Administrative Management, Administration and Finance, Electrical and Automated Facilities, and Advanced Electrical and Automated Technology. Torresol Energy will be sponsoring these scholarships in full. After signing the agreement, the municipality of San José del Valle will publish the requirements for being awarded the scholarships and will be in charge of receiving the applications, which it will send for evaluation to Torresol Energy, who in turn will select the winners. The winners will be free to choose the educational center where they would like to study.
Ever since the Valle 1 and Valle 2 projects began, Torresol Energy has been working closely with the municipality of San José del Valle and social organizations from the local community. This has led to initiatives to promote the culture of renewable energy in the city, which have included events, presentations and guided tours of the plants. Furthermore, the construction of the plants, which began in December 2009 and was completed in 2011, created roughly 4,500 jobs, and since they entered into commercial operation in January 2012, 80 professionals have been hired by Torresol O&M for operation and maintenance tasks in the two plants. Over half of these positions have been filled by San José del Valle residents.
True to its founding commitment to protect the environment for future generations, Torresol Energy has aimed at using Valle 1 and Valle 2 to become an active force in the sustainable development of the municipality. This same philosophy has guided all of its projects, including the Gemasolar plant in Fuentes de Andalucía, Sevilla, which has been in commercial operation since 2011.
The Valle 1 and Valle 2 plants – two twin 50 MWe installations with SENERtrough® parabolic trough technology (supplied and patented by SENER) – are equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows them to continue producing electricity for 7.5 hours without sunlight, i.e. at night or in cloudy weather. Thanks to this storage capacity, a clean source of energy such as solar energy can become manageable, and capable of responding to the grid’s demand. The plants are located on 400 hectares and have 1,000,000 sqm of mirrors. Each plant can produce 160 GWh per year: clean, safe energy that can power 40,000 homes, reducing annual CO2 emissions by 90,000 tons.