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The power plant.

The Andasol solar power station is Europe's first commercial parabolic trough solar thermal power plant, located near Guadix in the province of Granada, Spain.



Andasol is the first parabolic trough power plant in Europe, and Andasol 1 went online in March 2009. Because of the high altitude (1,100 m) and the desert climate, the site has exceptionally high annual direct insolation of 2,200 kWh/m² per year.[1] Each plant has a gross electricity output of 50 megawatts (MWe), producing around 180 gigawatt-hours (GW·h) per year (21 MW·yr per year). Each collector has a surface of 51 hectares (equal to 70 soccer fields); it occupies about 200 ha of land.[1]

Andasol has a thermal storage system which absorbs part of the heat produced in the solar field during the day. This heat is then stored in a molten salt mixture of 60% sodium nitrate and 40% potassium nitrate. A turbine produces electricity using this heat during the evening, or when the sky is overcast. This process almost doubles the number of operational hours at the solar thermal power plant per year.[2] A full thermal reservoir can run the turbine for about 7.5 hours at full-load (375 MW·h), in case it rains or after sunset. The heat reservoirs each consist of two tanks measuring 14 m in height and 36 m in diameter and containing molten salt. Andasol 1 is able to supply environmentally-friendly solar electricity for up to 200,000 people.[3] [2]


Andasol 1 cost around €300 million (US$380 million) to build.[4] The developers say Andasol's electricity will cost €0.271 per kilowatt-hour (kW·h) to produce.[5] Thermal energy storage costs roughly US$50 per kilowatt-hour of capacity, according to Greg Glatzmaier of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) — about 5% of Andasol's total cost.[4]

In Spain, solar-thermal electricity receives a feed-in tariff of just under €0.27/kW·h for the next 25 years.[3]

The Andasol power plants are helping to meet summer peak electricity demand in the Spanish power grid primarily caused by air conditioning units. The electricity supplied from the Andasol plants is ideal for meeting the demand during the day, particularly early afternoon, when the power demand reaches its peak and solar radiation (as well as the power plant output) are also at their peak.[3]


The developer of the Andasol 1 and Andasol 2 plants is ACS Group. Marquesado Solar, commonly known as Andasol 3 due to its proximity, is developed by Marquesado Solar SL. Shareholders of Marquesado Solar SL are:

See also


External links

Coordinates: 37°13′42.70″N 3°4′6.73″W / 37.228528°N 3.0685361°W / 37.228528; -3.0685361



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