Solar Millennium initiates Andasol 1's test run

Andasol 1, the first parabolic trough power plant in Europe, has recently initiated its test run. It will be connected to the Spanish grid after the successful completion of this trial period.

As per a recent update from Solar Millennium, the solar field is already generating thermal energy which will be used in a steam turbine to produce electricity after the commissioning of the power plant. Andasol 1 will supply up to 200.000 people with climate-friendly electricity and save about 149,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year compared with a modern coal power plant.

"We are about to carry out the final tests. In the course of these tests, parts of the solar field generate thermal energy and thus hot steam," said Oliver Vorbrugg, the site manager of Flagsol GmbH, a subsidiary of Solar Millennium. "Also the salt for the thermal storage is molten up and filled into the storage by now. I am proud to be able to take a responsible part in this important project."

With a collector area of over 510,000 square, Andasol 1 is the largest solar power plant worldwide. It consists of 312 rows of collectors with a total length of around 90 kilometers and roughly 210,000 parabolic mirrors.

For Solar Millennium, this solar-thermal power plant marks a significant reference for its expertise in project development and technology.

Besides Andasol 1 and the sister projects Andasol 2 and 3 in Spain, various further projects with an overall capacity of more than 1,000 Megawatts worldwide are in the planning phase with focus on Spain, USA, China and North-Africa. The company shared that 75 percent of Andasol 2's solar field and storage tanks are already completed. Andasol 2 should start to produce electricity in spring 2009.