Spain: EIB provides EUR 80 million for GEMASOLAR’s innovative solar power project
The European Investment Bank (EIB) announces a EUR 80 million loan to GEMASOLAR 2006 SAU to finance the construction and commissioning of a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Fuentes de Andalucía (province of Seville). EIB Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa and the Chairman of Torresol Energy, Enrique Sendagorta, signed the finance contract in Madrid today.
The EIB Vice-President hailed “this important technological development, which chimes perfectly with EU energy policy and which the Bank is proud to finance. New energy technologies are essential to meeting the EU’s climate change mitigation, energy security and corporate competitiveness targets”.
Enrique Sendagorta, Torresol Energy’s Chairman, said “we are highly satisfied with the EIB’s support for the launch of Gemasolar, which is a truly innovative solar power plant and the world’s first commercial-scale project built with this technology. We are confident that central tower technology using molten salt offers the greatest development potential for the future”.
With a nameplate power of 17 MW, the new plant is a global pioneer in the commercial application of CSP technology and the only existing commercial-scale solar power demonstration project based on a central tower receiver and heliostat field and an innovative molten salt heat storage system. This storage system will allow independent power generation for up to 15 hours with no solar input while increasing energy efficiency by enabling electricity production for some 6 600 hours a year – around 2.5-3 times as much as other renewable energies.
Gemasolar is the flagship project of Torresol Energy Investment SA, owned 60% by the Spanish engineering group SENER and 40% by Masdar, the government of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energies development company. The Gemasolar plant will supply clean and secure energy to 25 000 households, reduce CO2 emissions by more than 30 000 tonnes a year and create around 1 000 direct jobs during the construction phase.
About the EIB
The European Investment Bank is the European Union’s long-term financing institution working to achieve the EU’s objectives. Founded in 1958, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 other countries around the globe.
As part of the EU’s strategy of fostering sustainable, competitive and secure energy, the EIB gives priority to financing investment in renewable energies, energy efficiency, energy RDI, the diversification and security of the internal energy supply (including the trans-European energy networks) and external energy security.
About Torresol Energy
A joint venture between the companies SENER and MASDAR, Torresol Energy was set up with the aim of becoming a global leader in the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) sector, promoting the development and operation of large-scale CSP plants throughout the world – especially in the “sun belt”: southern Europe, including Spain, North Africa, the Middle East and the south-west United States.
Torresol Energy is currently focusing its efforts on the GEMASOLAR project and the construction of two 50 MW parabolic trough plants in the province of Cadiz (VALLE 1 and VALLE 2).
In the medium term, Torresol Energy plans to build at least two CSP plants each year, introducing and testing new technologies in order to turn CSP into an economically competitive and viable alternative to traditional power sources. The main aim of Torresol Energy’s research activities is to drive down the costs of power generation.