Helioenergy 1, the first of the two identical concentrated solar energy plants, started commercial operations on September 1, 2011. Helioenergy 2 is planned to come online later this year.
The size of the two solar thermal power stations is impressive, spreading over 220 hectares. The area, corresponding to more than 300 soccer fields, is home for 121,000 installed mirrors which concentrate sunlight and generate steam at a temperature of 400 degrees. The steam then drives two 50-MW turbines which generate electricity.
The renewable energy generated will cover the average energy needs of 52,000 households and prevents 63,000 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere each year.
Abengoa contributes expertise in solar technology and solar plant operations, while E.ON brings conventional power station construction and operation experience.
Abengoa (MCE: ABG) is an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, generating electricity from the sun, producing biofuels, desalinating sea water and recycling industrial waste.
E.ON is one of the world’s leading power and gas companies. E.ON Climate & Renewables, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, is responsible for E.ON Group’s global renewables and climate protection activities. E.ON is investing 2.6 billion Euros in renewable generation and climate protection projects from 2011 to 2013, and will play a leading role in the development of the renewables industry worldwide.
E.ON is already active in on- and offshore wind technology, Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), Solar PV, and biomass. E.ON currently has over 8 GW of renewable capacity in operation, including large-scale hydroelectric stations, which makes the company a leading global renewable player.