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Abengoa Solar

Abengoa Solar is a subsidiary of Abengoa, a technology and engineering company based in Seville, Spain.  The solar subsidiary was created in 1984 to provide heliostats and facets for the experimental Cesa Power Tower at the Almeria Solar Complex. The company is now considered to be the leader in solar power tower engineering and operates the only commercial solar power tower in Europe.

Solar Power Towers

Abengoa has been involved in numerous solar power tower installations. The impetus for its inception occurred in 1984, when the Spanish government began research and development in concentrated solar thermal energy. Abengoa supplied heliostats and other components for construction of the Cesa solar power tower under CIEMAT (the alternative energy agency of the Spanish government). The project established Abengoa as a leader in solar technology design, construction, and installation.

Abengoa operates the 11 megawatt PS10 Solar Power Plant that is located near Seville Spain. The €35 million installation produces 11 megawatts of power using 624 heliostats that concentrate solar energy on a single point located in a tower that is 115 meters (377 ft) in height. PS10 was the first part of what will be a combined 300 megawatt installation that is to be completed by 2013. PS10 is the only commercially owned solar power tower in Europe. In 2010, the PS20 Solar Power Tower was completed adjacent to PS10 through collaboration between CIEMAT, IDEA, and the University of Seville. PS20 is based on the PS10 design. Both towers store solar energy via superheated water. The water heated to 285 degrees Celsius and then pressurized to 50 bar to ensure it remains liquid. The system can only store the water for one hour. Molten salt is being considered.

PS10 and PS20 are part of the Solucar Complex in Sanlucar la Mayor, Seville, Spain. The entire project will provide 300 MW of solar power when completed through a combination of concentrated thermal solar and photovoltaic technologies.

Parabolic Troughs

Abengoa began research and development into solar trough technology in 1994. The company has since developed trough projects in Greece and other parts of Europe. In 2010, Abengoa Solar began commercial operation of three solar trough plants in the Solucar Complex.

Abengoa is a key pioneer of solar power in North Africa. The company operates a 20 megawatt parabolic trough system in Algeria. The 224 collector system began operation in July 2011 and is jointly owned with Hassi-R’mel. The trough collector is part of a larger, 150 megawatt solar installation at the Integrated Solar Combined-Cycle (ISCC) plant in Algeria.

Abengoa has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on two research and development projects dealing with concentrated solar power. In 2010, the U.S. DOE committed $1.45 billion in loan guarantees to support Abengoa Solar in construction of the Solana Generating Station. The Solana station, to be located in Gila Bend, Arizona, will provide 280 megawatts of power to approximately 70,000 homes in the Phoenix area. The station will cover 1900 acreas.

Photovoltaic

In 1993, Abengoa built Toledo PV with assistance from the European Union. The 1MW photovoltaic plant is owned by Union Renosa, Endesa, and RWE. The plant employs a variety of PV technologies, including fixed and tracking systems. It operates without a storage system.

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