Acciona Energy?s third Concentrating Solar Power plant enters service in Spain

Acciona will end 2010 with four operational Concentrating Solar Power plants totaling 214 MW, consolidating its leadership position in the solar thermal sector worldwide

Acciona Energy has grid connected its new 50 MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant at Majadas de Tiétar (Cáceres), in which it has invested 237 million euros. The plant is the third installed by the company in the world after Nevada Solar One (USA) and Alvarado (Badajoz), and the second in Spain. ACCIONA will end 2010 with four operational Concentrating Solar Power plants using parabolic trough technology with a total capacity of 214 MW, thereby consolidating its leading position in the sector worldwide.

The Majadas solar thermal plant, located about two miles north of the town, will produce clean electricity equivalent to the consumption of around 30,000 homes and will avoid the emission of 96,100 metric tons of CO2 from coal-fired power stations per annum. The cleaning effect on the atmosphere is equivalent to that of 4.8 million trees. It will also contribute to the security of energy supplies by replacing fossil fuels equivalent to 57,000 barrels of oil.

The materialization of the project has meant the creation of 350 jobs during the construction phase and another 31 for the operation and maintenance of the plant, plus indirect and induced jobs created in the area, located in the northern part of the Spanish province of Cáceres.

Acciona has extensive experience in the construction and operation of CSP plants using in-house technology. In June 2007 it commissioned the 64 MW Nevada Solar One (NSO) facility in the Nevada desert (USA), the first one built in the world after the California plants in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The good results achieved and the experience gained in NSO were decisive when the company decided to take on CSP projects in Spain. The first -the 50 MW Alvarado plant in Badajoz province – entered service in 2009. The Majadas plant, which has now been grid connected, will be followed shortly by Palma del Río II (Córdoba), which has the same characteristics as Majadas, and in summer 2011 Palma del Río I will start up. This will give Acciona a capacity of 264 MW distributed across five plants of this type – four in Spain and one in the United States.

As part of its project portfolio for Spain, Acciona has begun the administrative procedure for a fifth CSP in Spain in the form of an application to the Preliminary Allocation Register for the Special Regime of the Ministry of Industry. It will be located at Orellana, in Badajoz province, and will have a capacity of 50 MW.

Majadas: 48 miles of parabolic trough mirrors

The Majadas Concentrating Solar Power plant, like the others developed by Acciona, is based on parabolic trough technology. This refers to the shape of the mirrors, which are installed in rows and concentrate the sun’s rays into a fluid that is heated to around 400 degrees Celsius. This energy is then used to produce steam that drives a turbine that, connected to a generator, produces electricity.

The Majadas plant has a solar field of 135 hectares (333 acres) – equivalent to 189 soccer pitches – on which 800 solar collectors with 192,000 mirrors are located, making up a linear length of 48 miles. The construction of this solar field has been carried out by Acciona Infraestructuras.

Acciona Energy offers a wide range of products and services in renewable energies. Just five years after the launch of its first wind energy product, Acciona Windpower, a subsidiary of ACCIONA specializing in the design and production of wind turbines, today ranks among the world’s top manufacturers.

The Company offers its own wind turbines in two versions: 1.5 MW and 3.0 MW – to meet the most demanding requirements of wind farm owners.