SENER Renewable Investments, the SENER Group subsidiary that promotes and develops highly technological renewable energy projects, has launched the first hybrid solar project in Spain that merges CSP technology with molten salt storage and photovoltaic technology.
In this design, the SENER group is combining two widely known technologies for its engineering branch. In the case of CSP with molten salt storage, SENER has led the international market for more than a decade, designing, building and operating iconic pioneering projects, such as Andasol – the world’s first CSP plant with molten salt energy storage and cylindrical-parabolic trough technology – and Gemasolar, the first tower CSP plant with molten salt storage. With nearly 30 plants worldwide for different clients and continuous technological developments, SENER has positioned itself as a leading engineering company in solar thermal energy. In the photovoltaic sector, SENER has its own PV design system that incorporate artificial intelligence, such as the Oruga® software, which yields the optimal layout of the plant for the location.
The Solgest-1 Hybrid Solar Plant is a further step in SENER’s commitment to innovation in the renewable energy sector. With an installed power of 150 MW, the plant will be located in the municipal district of Fuentes de Andalucía, in the province of Seville, the same municipality where SENER built the Gemasolar tower plant that is operating since 2011.
In its current configuration, the Solgest-1 plant has a CSP unit with a storage capacity of more than 6 hours and a gross power generation of 110 MWe, making it capable of generating electricity at night or in cloudy weather. The CSP unit is combined with a photovoltaic section with an installed power of 40 MWp, the purpose of which is to generate electricity during daylight hours, both to cover part of the parasitic load of the CSP plant and to supply electricity to the grid. The hybrid power plant will be able to generate electricity 24 hours a day, injecting it into the grid using a high-voltage (220 kV) supply line to the Carmona substation in Seville.
The CSP facility will use SENERtrough® parabolictrough technology, designed and manufactured by SENER, with a molten salt heat storage system with two tanks, which will provide more than 1900 MWh thermal of storage capacity.
The photovoltaic plant will consist of 96,930 polycrystalline silicon modules of 415 W each, installed on horizontal, single-axis solar trackers.
Thanks to its integrated design, each part can operate and generate electricity independently, allowing, for example, for scheduled maintenance without stopping power generation. The maximum (nominal) power to be fed into the grid will be 98.06 MW.
The development of the Solgest-1 project will feature a strong local and national component in its supply chain. The facility will have a useful life of more than 30 years.
SENER Renewable Investments is currently awaiting the Environmental Impact Statement of the project. SENER is also processing the remaining permits required to build the plant. SENER will present the Solgest-1 project as part of an upcoming dispatchable renewable energy auction in order to complete one of the first CSP plants in Spain within the framework of the PNIEC Plan (Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030), that includes the objective of installing additional 5000 MW of solar thermal power in Spain by 2030.