30 June 2011
Gemasolar power plant near Seville in southern Spain is the world's first solar power plant that can generates electricity during the night. The solar power plant comprises 2,650 solar panels that spread over 185 hectares of rural land with heliostat mirrors for 95 percent of solar radiation on a receiver at the center of the giant plant.
The plant is actually a collaborative effort between Abu Dhabi's Masdar energy company and a branch of the Spanish engineering firm Sener called Torresol Energy. Heat up to 900C is used tanks molten salt heat, creating steam to power turbines £ 260 million station.
But, unlike all other plants, solar heat stored in these reservoirs can be released from up to 15 hours in the night or during periods without sunlight. The sun of southern Spain claims rather solar energy during most of the morning allowing the plant to produce clean, green electricity to an estimate 270 days a year, three times more than other solar energy projects. It is planned to generate 110 GWh per year that would be enough to power about 25,000 homes in the region of Andalusia.