Sunday, May 20, 2007

900 Acres of Canadian Solar

A California company is preparing to install a massive solar installation near Sarnia, Ontario (across the river from Port Huron, Michigan) that will be the largest photovoltaic solar installation in North America. Currently, the largest installation in the world is a 12 megawatt facility in Germany. In the United States, a 15 megawatt facility was recently announced to begin construction on an air force base in Nevada. However, the Canadian facility will eclipse both of these, with a capacity of 40 megawatts. It won't necessarily be the world's largest solar farm, however. Large facilities are currently being built in California and Germany.
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Friday, May 18, 2007

First EU Commercial Concentrating Solar Power Tower Opens in Spain

SEVILLE, Spain, March 30, 2007 (ENS) - Europe's first commercial concentrating solar power plant was inaugurated today near the sunny southern Spanish city of Seville.

The 11 megawatt, MW, plant was inaugurated in the presence of the heads of the regional government of Andalusia and executives of the solar company Abengoa, whose parent company, Solucar, built the power plant.

The power plant in the municipality of Sanlucar la Mayor, 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Seville, took more than four years to build, from July 1, 2001 to December 31, 2005.

Known as PS10, the project produces electricity with 624 large movable mirrors called heliostats.

Each of the 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 300 MW by 2013. Power generation will be accomplished using a variety of technologies.

The first two power plants to be brought into operation at Sanlucar la Mayor are the PS10, the world's first tower technology solar thermoelectric power plant constructed for commercial operation, and Sevilla PV, the largest low concentration system photovoltaic plant in Europe.

The EU's first commercial concentrating solar power tower near Seville, Spain (Photo courtesy Abengoa)

When completed in the year 2013, the Sanlucar la Mayor Solar Platform will produce enough energy to cover the consumption of some 180,000 homes, equivalent to the needs of the city of Seville, using the concentrating solar power plant and other technologies.

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