Solar power in Spain: Wikis

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Spain is one of the most attractive countries for the development of solar energy, as it has more available sunshine than any other European country. The Spanish government is committed to achieving a target of 12 percent of primary energy from renewable energy by 2010 with an installed solar generating capacity of 3000 megawatts (MW).[1] Spain is the fourth largest manufacturer in the world of solar power technology and exports 80 percent of this output to Germany.[2]. Spain added a record 2 GW of solar power in 2008. Total Solar power in Spain was 3 GW by end of 2009.[citation needed] Solar energy has covered 2.8% of the electricity demand in 2009.[3]

Through a ministerial ruling in March 2004, the Spanish government removed economic barriers to the connection of renewable energy technologies to the electricity grid. The Royal Decree 436/2004 equalises conditions for large-scale solar thermal and photovoltaic plants and guarantees feed-in tariffs.[4]

Contents

Solar thermal power plants

The 11 megawatt PS10 solar power tower produces electricity from the sun using 624 large movable mirrors called heliostats.
Three Solar Towers from left: PS20, Eureka5, PS10.
Solar Towers from left: PS10, PS20.
Photovoltaic power

In March 2007, Europe's first commercial concentrating solar power tower plant was opened near the sunny southern Spanish city of Seville. The 11 MW plant, known as the PS10 solar power tower, produces electricity with 624 large heliostats. Each of these mirrors has a surface measuring 120 square meters (1,290 square feet) that concentrates the Sun's rays to the top of a 115 meter (377 feet) high tower where a solar receiver and a steam turbine are located. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity.[2]

The Andasol 1 solar power station is Europe’s first parabolic trough commercial power plant (50 MWe), located near Guadix in the province of Granada, Spain. The Andasol 1 power plant went online in November 2008, and 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 and used to generate electricity during the night, or when the sky is overcast.[5]

A 15 MWe solar-only power tower plant, the Solar Tres project, is in the hands of the Spanish company SENER, employing United States molten salt technologies for receiving and energy storage. Its 16-hour molten salt storage system will be able to deliver power around the clock. The Solar Tres project has received a €5 million grant from the EC’s Fifth Framework Programme.[4]

Solar thermal power plants designed for solar-only generation are well matched to summer noon peak loads in prosperous areas with significant cooling demands, such as Spain. Using thermal energy storage systems, solar thermal operating periods can even be extended to meet base-load needs.[4]

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World's Biggest Solar Power Tower

Abengoa Solar began commercial operation of a 20-megawatt solar power tower plant near Seville in late April, 2009. Called the PS20, the plant uses a field of 1,255 flat mirrors, or heliostats, to concentrate sunlight on a receiver mounted on a central tower. Water pumped up the tower and through the receiver boils into steam, which is then directed through a turbine to produce electricity. The new facility is located adjacent to one with half its capacity, called PS10, which was the world's first commercial solar power tower plant. According to Abengoa Solar, the new facility is exceeding its predicted power output. [6]

Photovoltaics

Solar photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into electricity and many solar photovoltaic power stations have been built in Spain.[7] As of January 2009, the largest photovoltaic (PV) power plants in Spain are the Parque Fotovoltaico Olmedilla de Alarcon (60 MW), Planta Solar Arnedo (30 MW), Parque Solar Merida/Don Alvaro (30 MW), Planta solar Fuente Álamo (26 MW), Planta fotovoltaica de Lucainena de las Torres (23.2 MW), Parque Fotovoltaico Abertura Solar (23.1 MW), Parque Solar Hoya de Los Vincentes (23 MW), Huerta Solar Almaraz (22.1 MW), Solarpark Calveron (21 MW), and the Planta Solar La Magascona (20 MW).[7]

BP Solar begun constructing a new solar photovoltaic cell manufacturing plant at its European headquarters in Tres Cantos, Madrid.[8] For phase one of the Madrid expansion, BP Solar aimed to expand its annual cell capacity from 55 MW to around 300 MW. Construction of this facility was underway, with the first manufacturing line expected to be fully operational in 2009.[8] The new cell lines would use innovative screen-printing technology. By fully automating wafer handling, the manufacturing lines would be able to handle the very thinnest of wafers available and ensure the highest quality.[8] Thin wafers are of particular importance since there has been a silicon shortage in recent years. However, after the new national law limiting installed power by year, in april 2009 BP Solar is closing its factories.[9]

Since the beginning of 2007, Aleo Solar AG has also been manufacturing high-quality solar modules for the Spanish market at its own factory in Santa Maria de Palautordera near Barcelona.[8]

Spain's largest photovoltaic (PV) power plants[7]
Name of Plant DC
Peak Power (MW)
GW·h
/year
Capacity factor Notes
Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park 60 85 0.16 Completed September 2008
Puertollano Photovoltaic Park 47 2008
Arnedo Solar Plant 30 Completed October 2008
Merida/Don Alvaro Solar Park 30 Completed September 2008
Planta solar Fuente Álamo 26 44 0.19
Planta fotovoltaica de Lucainena de las Torres 23.2 Completed August 2008
Parque Fotovoltaico Abertura Solar 23.1 47 0.23
Parque Solar Hoya de Los Vincentes 23 41 0.20
Huerta Solar Almaraz 22.1 Completed September 2008
Solarpark Calveron 21.2 40 0.22
Huerta Solar Almaraz 20 Completed September 2008
Planta solar fotovoltaico Calasparra 20
Planta Solar La Magascona 20 42 0.24
Beneixama photovoltaic power plant [10] 20 30 0.17 Tenesol, Aleo and Solon solar modules with Q-Cells cells
Planta de energía solar Mahora 15 Completed September 2008
Planta Solar de Salamanca 13.8 n.a. 70,000 Kyocera panels
Parque Solar Guadarranque 13.6 20 0.17
Lobosillo Solar Park 12.7 n.a. Chaori and YingLi modules
Parque Solar Fotovoltaico Villafranca 12 High concentration PV technology
Monte Alto photovoltaic power plant 9.5 14 0.17
Viana Solar Park 8.7 11 0.14

Policies, Laws and Incentives

Feed in Tariff

The Spanish feed in tariff, made under Real Decreto 661/2007, differs from the German model in that it offers the option of incentives ('prima' or premium (Eng.)) for sales into the wholesale electricity spot market as well as fixed incentives ('tarifa regulada').

New building codes

New building code laws in Spain are now mandating solar hot water for new and remodeled private residences, and photovoltaics to offset some power requirements for all new and remodeled commercial buildings. The new laws also reflect increased awareness of the importance of better building insulation and the use of daylighting.[11]

Research and Development

The Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA), part of the Center for Energy, Environment and Technological Research (CIEMAT), is a center for research, development, and testing of concentrating solar power technologies.[12] ISFOC[13] in Puertollano is a development institute for concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) which evaluates CPV technologies at the pilot production scale to optimize operation and determine cost. Technical University of Madrid has a photovoltaic research group.[14]

See also

References

External links


Simple English


Spain is the fourth largest manufacturer in the world of solar power technology and exports 80 percent of this output to Germany.[1] Spain is one of the most attractive countries with regard to the development of solar energy, as it has the greatest amount of available sunshine of any country in Europe.

The Spanish government wants to produce 12 percent of primary energy from renewable energy by 2010. That would mean a solar generating capacity of 400 megawatts. Through a ministerial ruling in March 2004, the Spanish government removed economic barriers to grid-connection of renewable energy. The widely applauded Royal Decree 436/2004 equalises conditions for large-scale thermal and photovoltaic plants and guarantees feed-in tariffs.[2]

Contents

Solar thermal power plants

In March 2007, Europe's first commercial concentrating solar power tower plant was opened near the sunny southern Spanish city of Seville. The 11 megawatt plant, known as the PS10 solar power tower, produces electricity with 624 large heliostats. Each of these mirrors has a surface measuring 120 square meters (1,290 square feet) that concentrates the Sun's rays to the top of a 115 meter (377 foot) high tower where a solar receiver and a steam turbine are located. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity. PS10 is the first of a set of solar electric power generation plants to be constructed in the same area that will total more than 300MW by 2013. This power generation will be accomplished using a variety of technologies. [3]

Solar thermal power plants designed for solar-only generation are ideally matched to summer noon peak loads in prosperous areas with significant cooling demands, such as Spain. Using thermal energy storage systems, solar thermal operating periods can even be extended to meet base-load needs. For example, the 50-MWe AndaSol solar trough power plants are designed with six to twelve hours of thermal storage, which increases annual availability by some 1,000 to 2,500 hours.[4]

Photovoltaics

Construction has started on a 20MW solar photovoltaics power system in Trujillo, Cáceres, in Spain. Costing €150m, the new plant will have double the output of the 10MW Bavaria Solar Park in Germany, the previous largest ever photovoltaic (PV) system. The project will use 200 100kW units (120,000 PV modules in total), gaining the top feed-in tariff for this type of plant.[5]

BP Solar has begun constructing a new solar photovoltaic (PV) solar cell manufacturing plant at its European headquarters in Tres Cantos, Madrid.[6] For phase one of the Madrid expansion, BP Solar is aiming to expand its annual cell capacity from 55 megawatts (MW) to around 300 MW. Construction of this facility is underway, with the first manufacturing line expected to be fully operational this year.[7]

The new cell lines use innovative screen-printing technology. By fully automating wafer handling, the manufacturing lines will be able to handle the very thinnest of wafers available and ensure the highest quality. [8] This is of particular importance since there has been a silicon shortage in recent years.

Since the beginning of 2007, Aleo Solar AG has also been manufacturing high-quality solar modules for the Spanish market at its own factory in Santa Maria de Palautordera near Barcelona.[9]

New building codes

New building code laws in Spain are now mandating solar hot water for new and remodeled private residences, and photovoltaic to offset some power requirements for all new and remodeled commercial buildings. The new laws also reflect inceased awareness of the importance of better building insulation and the use of daylighting.[10]

Research and Development

The Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) in Spain, part of the Center for Energy, Environment and Technological Research (CIEMAT), is the largest center for research, development, and testing of concentrating solar technologies in Europe.[11]

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