SENER participates in the concentrating solar power (CSP) conference SolarPACES 2018, that takes place in Casablanca (Morocco) between 2 and 5 October.

SENER, a key player in the largest solar project in Morocco, the Noor solar complex that MASEN is developing in the town of Uarzazat, will share its experience in this and other CSP projects with the presentation entitled ‘The importance of the supply chain in CSP projects’, by SENER’s Chief Procurement Officer, Elvira García.

In Morocco, SENER has a fully operational division in the country since 2016, located in Rabat, and participates in the Noor solar complex -the largest solar complex on the planet- as part of the turnkey building consortium, and supplier of all the technology, of the three solar thermal energy plants of the complex: the Noor Ouarzazate I and Noor Ouarzazate II complexes, both with SENERtrough® parabolic troughs, and Noor Ouarzazate III, with a central tower configuration. The three power plants include a molten salt storage system that allow them to manage solar power without direct radiation and to respond to peak demand, guaranteeing the supply of clean, sustainable and safe electricity for Morocco.

In this sense, the SolarPACES activities programme includes a visit to the Noor Ouarzazate III power plant, on Saturday 6 October. Noor Ouarzazate III is the second complex with central tower technology and molten salt storage system that SENER has designed and built, in addition to providing the company’s own technology, and one of the first in the world to apply this configuration at a commercial scale, which is creating a sense of anticipation in the CSP sector. The plant is already generating electricity and its recent synchronization to the grid and next commercial operation, expected at the end of 2018, will reassert the effectiveness of this high-efficiency innovative technology in the global CSP sector.

SENER leads the global market of solar thermal power, both due to the number of projects in its portfolio and to its own technology solutions. In total, SENER has participated in 29 plants, most of them built as turn-key projects, in Spain, the USA, South Africa and Morocco, that represent more than 2,000 MWe of installed power and a saving of more than a million annual tons of CO2. Some of its references are real technological breakthroughs, such as the pioneer Gemasolar, the first tower solar power plant and molten salt storage system in commercial use in the world.

As a technology supplier, SENER has taken first place for its innovative developments, many of them patented, from parabolic troughs (systems SENERtrough® and SENERtrough®-2), heliostats (system HE54), the high-precision solar tracking system called ‘solar tracker’ or the Sensol solar plant sizing software, in addition to supplying and manufacturing key parts such as the high temperature receiver, the complete molten salt storage system or the integrated control system of the receiver and solar field. SENER’s constant investment in innovation translates into new prototypes whose objective is to reduce the necessary investment costs in solar plants.

Therefore, SENER’s three main contributions to CSP technology have been: thermal storage, both in plants with central tower receiver and in plants with parabolic troughs, that allow solar plants to continue producing energy at night or with cloudy weather; the increase of thermoelectric efficiency, by reaching optimal (high) temperatures for the steam turbine directly from the concentrated solar heat; and reducing costs with industrialised designs and processes.