Torresol celebrates a towering achievement in concentrating solar thermal power

Masdar and SENER have formed a joint venture, Torresol Energy, that just inaugurated their Gemasolar Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project; the first commercial plant in the world to use molten salt thermal storage in a central tower configuration using a heliostat, which will give it a capacity factor of 75%, which is almost on a par with nuclear plants.

Gemasolar is the first of three concentrated solar energy projects that the newly formed partnership has financed at $1.4 billion US. Raising this amount for first of its kind technology at commercial scale shows what Masdar and SENER are jointly capable of as leaders in strong, credible solar technology.

The first of the three plants, the 20 MW Gemasolar solar thermal project in Fuentes Andalucía, Spain, will power 100% of 27,500 Spanish households’ electricity needs, all day and most of the night, under a 25-year regulated tariff by the Spanish Government.

Torresol Energy’s Gemasolar project received €171 million financing through a transaction that involved several leading European financial institutions including Banco Popular, Banesto, ICO and the European Investment Bank.

Enrique Sendagorta, President of Terresol Energy, stated: “We want to become a global company that develops the use of concentrated solar power as a sustainable source of power and therefore contribute to the protection of the environment for the future generations.

By José Santamarta,