Torresol Energy project will introduce and test new technologies with MASDAR and SENER’s support in order to make Concentrated Solar Power an economically competitive option.

Torresol Energy, a joint venture between Masdar – Abu Dhabi’s leading future energy company – and SENER, the leading Spanish engineering and technology group, received the ‘Commercialized Technology Innovation of the Year’ CSP Today US award, thanks to the innovative solutions developed in Gemasolar, the world’s first commercial-scale CSP plant featuring central tower receiver and molten salt storage system technology. Gemasolar, the 19.9 MW flagship project of Torresol Energy, was commissioned last May.

The award was presented on June 28 during the fith edition of the Concentrated Solar Power Summit held between June 28 and 30 in Las Vegas (USA). Felicia Belows, Senior Vice President of Development of Torresol Energy in the US, received the award. After the event, she declared: "I am very proud of receiving this awad that represents for us the acknowledgement to a challenge achieved like having Gemasolar, a unique plant, already operational’.

Masdar Power, one of the five integrated units of Masdar, is a leading international developer and operator of renewable power generation projects in Abu Dhabi. It also strategically invests in technology relevant to utility-scale renewable energy, focusing especially on Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), photovoltaic solar energy and on- and offshore wind energy.

Director of Masdar Power Frank Wouters said: "Torresol’s 19.9MW Gemasolar plant employs the most innovative storage technology fully integrated into a renewable energy power plant to date. The CSP Today US award for Torresol is a major recognition of the leadership role of Masdar and the UAE in the solar power sector. The award will further strengthen our commitment to clean energy and encourage us to set higher targets of excellence while expanding our business scope."

The innovative molten salt heat transfer technology deployed at the Gemasolar greenfield independent power project helps avoid fluctuations in power supply through a system that is capable of 15 hours of energy production without sunlight. This accordingly allows for generation of electricity 24 hours a day for many months of the year, even during the hours of darkness or poor daylight during winter. Besides, the plant is able to supply electricity to a population of 25,000 households and save 30,000 tons/year of CO2 emissions.

SENER was responsible for providing the technology, the engineering detail design and for leading the EPC and commissioning works of the plant. The technology developed by SENER includes state-of-the-art solutions such as the molten salt storage system and the receiver, which is able to absorb 95% of the radiation from the sun’s spectrum and transmit this energy to the molten salt compound that circulates within the receiver, which is then used to heat steam and operate the steam turbines.

Torresol Energy, an alliance between the companies SENER and MASDAR, was created for the purpose of becoming a leader in the concentrated solar power (CSP) sector, with the goal of promoting technological development and the operation of large concentrated solar power plants around the world, especially in the so-called "solar belt": Southern Europe (including Spain), Northern Africa, the Middle East and the Southwestern USA.

Torresol Energy project will introduce and test new technologies with MASDAR and SENER’s support in order to make Concentrated Solar Power an economically competitive option and thus make it a real, viable, ecological and sustainable alternative to traditional energy. In this regard, the protection of the environment for future generations is one of Torresol Energy’s core commitments.

Currently, the company has started the commercial operation of the Gemasolar plant, with 19.9 MW and central-tower technology and heliostat field, located in Fuentes de Andalucía, in Seville. At the same time, Torresol Energy is building two other plants, Valle 1 and Valle 2, two twin installations with cylindrical-parabolic collector technology, 50 MW each one, located in San José del Valle, in the province of Cadiz.

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialization and deployment of renewable- and alternative-energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s fossil-fuel economy and the energy economy of the future — developing the "greenprint" for how we will live and work tomorrow. Backed by the stability and reputation of the Mubadala Development Company, an investment vehicle of the government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the Emirate’s long-term vision for the future of energy.

Masdar Power is one of the five integrated business units of Abu Dhabi’s clean-energy initiative, Masdar. Mandated to build and operate a portfolio of large-scale renewable-energy power projects that will enable Abu Dhabi to achieve 7% of its total generation capacity from clean energy sources by 2020, it is implementing major projects such as the Shams-1 and Nour-1 solar power plants and Sir Bani Yas wind farm in the UAE, as well as international projects including the London Array, Torresol Energy’s Gemasolar, Valle 1 & 2 solar power plants in Spain and a wind farm in Seychelles.

Through its partnerships and investments in technology related to utility-scale renewable-energy operating assets, Masdar Power aims to spearhead breakthroughs in the fields of solar PV, concentrated solar power, and onshore and offshore wind.

SENER is a private engineering and technology group founded in Bilbao in 1956 which offers its clients cutting-edge technological solutions and which enjoys international recognition by virtue of its commitment to innovation, quality and its independence. SENER has a workforce of more than 5,000 professionals and a turnover of 1,066 million euros.