On the evening of the 28th, the event’s gala ceremony was held where awards were handed out to the most outstanding Concentrating Solar Power companies for 2011. SENER and Torresol Energy walked away with four of the eight prizes awarded by the organization. Specifically, SENER received the awards for "Engineering Firm 2011", "Increased Dispatchability Solution 2011"; for its part, Torresol Energy was awarded in the categories "Commercialized Technology Innovation 2011" and "Most Effective Project Development 2011".
These awards are yet another acknowledgment of the effort made by both companies to make concentrated solar power more efficient and more competitive. SENER is the world leader in the concentrating solar thermal power sector, as much for its high-tech development as for the number of projects in its pipeline, which exceeds 20 plants in Spain, in the US, and in India. Seven of these plants are already in commercial operation, including Gemasolar, an innovative project led by Torresol Energy, a joint venture between SENER and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s holistic and progressive renewable energy company. Torresol Energy is a company that specializes in technological development, construction, operation and maintenance of large concentrated solar power plants around the world, and which currently has the innovative Concentrated Solar Power Gemasolar plant in operation along with two other plants about to go on line.
By launching into commercial operation in May of 2011, the Gemasolar power plant became the most innovative solar plant in the world, signifying a milestone in the solar power industry, as these awards clearly demonstrate. Gemasolar, located in Fuentes de Andalucía in Seville, is the first commercial plant in the world with central tower receiver and molten salt thermal storage technology. This system can continue producing energy for 15 hours at full power without sunlight. Solar power thus becomes a source of manageable energy capable of supplying networks based on demand, regardless of whether it is day or night or if the weather is cloudy.
Gemasolar’s numerous technological advances have opened the door to new production technology that may represent the best of all the possible alternatives in this sector due to it having the best potential for technological development, and the greatest potential for reducing power production costs. Gemasolar will thus be considered to be a technological model for the successful development of future plants. Its social and industrial impact has been so phenomenal that the plant was officially launched by two royal families: by His Majesty the King of Spain and His Highness General Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
SENER supplied all of the technological innovations and the engineering for Gemosolar, in addition to leading the plant’s construction, start up and commissioning works. Thus far, SENER is the only company in the world that has been able to develop a project with these characteristics. It also bears mentioning that the company has recently been awarded, mainly due to this innovative project, the top European Business Award for Innovation, where it beat out nine other finalist companies in an extensive selection process that began in May 2011 and which involved competition from over 15,000 European companies.