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Spanish solar delivers 24/7 baseload power to the grid

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The future has arrived, says JJ Faisson from Carbon Tax Facts, solar power can now deliver baseload power to the grid and is doing so today in Spain’s Adalucia province.



I believe someone posted a comment earlier this week, arguing that solar would never be able to replace fossil fuels as it could not deliver 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, baseload power to the grid. Well, the future has arrived. Spain’s Gemasolar array does just that! The 19.9MW solar concentrating power plant located in Spain’s Adalucia province uses two tankes of molten salt (MSES) to store the energy generated throughout the day.

This stored energy allows the plant to fulfil the peak energy requirements of summer long after the sun goes down. The molten salt “battery” consists of 60% potassium nitrate and 40% sodium nitrate and has the ability to retain 99 per cent of the heat energy generated by the concentrating solar power plant for later reuse, and lasts for up to 15 hours. The plant is expected to produce ~110,000 MWh of energy each year, enough to power 25,000 homes. This is the first true 24/7 solar power plant in the world, and a good case study for what is possible


(This story was originally published in Carbon Tax Facts on July 25, 2011, under the title 'Solar can deliver baseload power' and has been republished with permission.)


 
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