PS20 Solar Power Plant

Orientation & Geography

Europe, Spain, Provincia de Sevilla

The PS20 Solar Power Plant (Spanish: Planta Solar 20) is a solar thermal energy plant in Sanlucar la Mayor near Seville in Andalusia, Spain, and the world's most powerful solar power tower. The 20 megawatt (MW) solar power tower produces electricity with large movable mirrors called heliostats. Construction was started in 2006; PS20 was put into operation in 2009. It features a number of significant technological improvements over the earlier PS10. These include a higher-efficiency receiver, various improvements in the control and operational systems, and a better thermal energy storage system. "PS20 consists of a solar field made up of 1,255 mirrored heliostats designed by Abengoa Solar. Each heliostat, with a surface area of 120 m (1,300 sq ft), reflects the solar radiation it receives onto the receiver, located on the top of a 165 m (541 ft) high tower, producing steam which is converted into electricity generation by a turbine." "The remaining power plants will be built over the next few years. They will include low- and high-concentration photovoltaic, tower thermoelectric, parabolic-trough collector and Stirling dish plants. Abengoa Solar's parabolic trough plants, Solnova 1, 3 and 4, which can generate 150MW of power, are under construction at the Solar Platform." Resulting from cooperation between Ciemat, the IDEA, and the University of Seville, the whole plant is to be completed by 2013, when it will produce around 300MW – energy for around 180,000 homes, equivalent to the needs of the city of Seville.