More Solar Power After Dark

Two identical 50 MW parabolic trough based solar farms with thermal storage allowing for electricity production after dark have commenced operations in Spain.
  
Valle 1 and Valle 2 located in Cadiz, in the South of Spain, were constructed by Torresol Energy, the same venture that built the world’s first baseload solar farm, Gemasolar.
  
Thermal storage in the form of molten salt will allow Valle 1 and Valle 2 to continue to generate electricity for up to 7.5 hours at full capacity in the absence of suitable solar radiation.
  
Each of the solar farms will produce 160 gigawatt hours of clean electricity annually, enough to supply the needs of 40,000 homes. Combined, the plants will avoid 90,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
  
Approximately 4,500 people worked over 2.7 million hours in order to construct both projects over a period of 2 years.
  
Torresol Energy is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar and Spanish engineering and construction firm SENER. SENER has 24 solar thermal power plants in Spain, US and India representing 1,500 MWe installed or under construction.
  
Enrique Sendagorta, President of Torresol Energy, said the consortium expect to start soon on other concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in various countries. According to a report on TradeArabia, Mr Sendagorta said Torresol aims to add around 6,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity over the next three years – an investment that would range between $3.5 billion to $5 billion. 
  
General Manager of Torresol Energy, Alvaro Lorente pointed out the Valle 1 and Valle 2 projects were financed to the tune of EUR 540 million through various investment banks in 2009, even in the face of fallout from the global financial crisis. The venture was awarded the Project Finance Deal of the Year 2009 in the Clean Energy Sector by EuroMoney.