The company Torresol Energy, a promotor of concentrated solar power plants, is finishing start-up for the Gemasolar plant in this town in the Seville region.

The Fuentes de Andalucía City Hall has received the Clean Technologies Recognition in the XVII edition of the Ones Mediterrània awards, given out each year by the foundation Mediterrània-CIE.

The company Torresol Energy, a promotor of concentrated solar power plants, is finishing start-up for the Gemasolar plant in this town in the Seville region. It is the first commercial plant in the world with central tower receiver technology and molten salt storage system, whose technological innovations were developed by SENER, who also is leading the construction of this advanced thermosolar plant. Once in operation, Gemasolar will supply clean and safe energy to 25,000 homes and will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 30,000 tons per year. Its novel technology, which significantly increases plant efficiency, marks a starting point within the cost reduction strategy in the thermosolar energy industry, a key objective both for SENER and for Torresol Energy, to make this clean energy a firm alternative to fossil fuels.

This renewable energy project has created more than 1,000 direct jobs throughout its construction, and will generate 50 qualified job posts once completed for its operation and maintenance. Many of these job posts, around 40% of the entire crew, were filled with inhabitants from the Seville municipality, who were trained in Electromechanics in an employment workshop organized by the City Hall.

With this purpose, Torresol Energy carried out very active tracking on the municipality’s initiative and, with the approval of the Employment Council of the Government of Andalusia, adapted the agenda to the content of the Training Plan that the company designed for its personnel. Additionally, it actively collaborated by giving specific courses, promoting visits and internships at Gemasolar, integrating the workshop crew into the two-month-long theoretical-practical training carried out in the plant’s facilities.

Awarding this XVII Ones Mediterrània Award means a recognition of the City Hall’s work toward promoting clean energies and respecting the environment with many initiatives, such as clean water, green zones, nurseries for training, education and investment, sustainable social gardens… Amongst all of these initiatives, Gemasolar stands out, the first commercial scale solar plant constructed in the world with central tower technology and a heliostat field with molten salt storage system, technology which allows for increasing plant efficiency. Its innovative technology has awakened great interest in the thermal solar energy industry, and its entrance into commercial operation, which will happen throughout 2011, will be a world-wide milestone.

Since the beginning of this project, Torresol Energy has maintained a close collaboration with the Fuentes de Andalucía City Hall, which has materialized in initiatives to promote a culture of renewable energies within the muncipality. For example, Torresol Energy has been actively involved in the two editions of ¨Renewable energies and sustainable development days¨, a project to sensitize and train, organised annually by the City Hall, highlighted by the Ones Mediterrània award. In both editions, Torresol Energy was a sponsor of the event, and formed part of the organizational committee, in addition to being present in the presentations and organizing guided visits of the plant as an active agent in the sustainable development of Fuentes de Andalucía.