Solar thermal power complements wind energy and photovoltaic, which are not only manageable.
The company Cerro Dominador, a Chilean company owned by investment funds managed by EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG), has successfully developed and commenced the commercial operation of the first CSP plant in Latin America. The Spanish consortium Acciona-Abengoa was responsible of for the turnkey construction (EPC) of the plant.
The plant, officially named Cerro Dominador Solar Complex, uses a combination of PV (100 MWe) and CSP (110 MWe) technology. The project is located in María Elena, in the vicinity of Calama, in the Antofagasta Region, in the Atacama Desert in Chile. This area has one of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world and, therefore, is extremely suitable for solar energy. Cerro Dominador will be able to avoid the emission of 640,000 tons of CO2 per year.
The plant has an integrated 17.5-hour thermal energy storage (TES) system, which allows it to operate in evening hours and during the night. This way the project will generate clean energy in a manageable manner 24/7. The TES uses a molten salt to store the thermal energy in an efficient way for a long period if needed.
This new plant has a Solar Field, the area where the energy of the sun is harvested and projected onto a solar boiler placed at the top of the Central Tower. The Solar Field has an area of approximately 146 hectares and will have 10,600 heliostats that will direct the solar radiation to a receiver located at an altitude of 252 meters. Rioglass Solar has supplied the project with the reflective panels, in this case Heliostat Mirror Facets, of the entire Solar Field. Rioglass Solar developed its unique technology for Heliostat Mirror Facets, which reduces the weight of the heliostats and increases its optical performance by applying a focus on the mirror by means of an industrialized and highly repetitive production process in combination of a very high reflectance, and has now successfully supplied this project to the second commercial CSP plant in the world.
Solar Thermal Energy (STE) or Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plays an essential role in the energy transition and enables a technically and economically balanced energy transition both on the electricity generation as well as decarbonization of the industrial processes, with strong features such as proven, bankable, and cheap energy storage enabling renewable energy at peak hours or covering demand at night, ancillary services, which intermittent renewable sources cannot provide, and hybridization to offer the best solution for the specific market solution. This based on its proven and cheap integrated Thermal Energy Storage (TES).
Awarded the CSP Today Industry Choice Award (2016) and the Technology Innovation Award twice (2011, 2013), Rioglass, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, is an international company offering highend receiver tubes and concentrating mirrors for concentrated solar power and concentrated
photovoltaic technologies and is the world market leader for optical components in the CSP market.
Innovation is embedded in the company’s culture. Rioglass was the first company to introduce the tempered parabolic mirrors to the market, as well as the first to commercially deploy heliostat mirror facets with an integrated support structure. Rioglass Solar, through its acquisitions, was also at the cradle of the CSP deployment in the 1980´s and has since then led the innovation and introduction of new receiver concepts such a large aperture tubes and molten salts receivers.
Leaning on a strong engineering experience of over 30 years in the CSP and related industries, Rioglass is now the world leading supplier of concentrating mirrors and CSP receiver tubes, with state-of-theart production facilities, and worldwide presence in the CSP and CPV market.
Rioglass offers the best economic solutions based on innovative designs and concepts, combined with a highly automated production capacity to deliver the most cutting edge, top performing products to its customers worldwide.