Dr. Norbert Hagen, CEO of Solar Millennium Invest AG, the company in charge of selling the fund, is pleased: “I would like to thank all the investors, who are helping to shape the energy turnaround by investing in Andasol and this groundbreaking technology.”
The inauguration ceremony for the Andasol 3 power plant took place at the end of September 2011, since which time the plant has become part of Europe’s largest solar energy location on the Guadix-Plateau in the Spanish province of Granada. Together the Andasol power plants 1-3 that cover an area of 1.5 million square meters supply clean electricity for half a million people, thus saving some 450,000 tons of CO2 per year.
They further contribute to supply safety in Spain, particularly by covering peak demand in the Spanish grid during the summer months. Each power plant features a capacity of 50 megawatt and thermal storage. A full storage facility, which consists of tanks with molten salt, can continue to operate the turbine for up to eight hours at full load after sunset or in cloudy weather. In addition to Solar Millennium, who realized this project together with its partners, and Ferrostaal also RWE Innogy, RheinEnergie and – with a share of nearly 50% – Stadtwerke München (Munich City Utility) are involved in this power plant.
Solar Millennium AG (ISIN DE0007218406), Erlangen, is a company that operates globally in the renewable energy sector, with its main focus on solar power plants. Together with its subsidiaries and associates, the Company specializes in solar-thermal power plants, particularly parabolic trough plants, and has taken a global leadership position in this field.
Solar Millennium is striving to further extend its expertise in this area with the aim of achieving and securing sustainable technology leadership. The Company covers all important business sectors along the value chain for solar power plants: from project development and financing to technology and the turnkey construction and operation of power plants. Solar Millennium realized Europe’s first parabolic trough power plants in Spain as well as the first modern parabolic trough solar field in Egypt. Additional projects are planned around the world. The current regional focus is on Spain, the Middle East and North Africa.
Solar-thermal power plants generate electricity by converting solar radiation into heat energy. In a parabolic trough power plant, trough-shaped mirrors concentrate the incidental radiation onto a pipe in the focal line of the collector. Its absorption heats a fluid heat medium in the pipe, generating steam in the power block through a heat exchanger. As in conventional power plants, the steam powers a turbine to generate electricity. By integrating thermal storage, electricity can be supplied on demand, even after sunset.