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From: West Yorkshire, UK

Image credit: Steve Morgan, Solar 4, 2013

Photographer description: The Gemasolar solar tower power plant in Fuentes de Andalucía, Seville, Spain, is a commercial scale solar plant which in its technological uniqueness opens up the way for new thermosolar electrical generation technology. A circular solar field of 2650 heliostat mirrors covering 185 hectares concentrates the suns energy onto the central receiving tower, where the intense heat generated is stored using molten salt heat storage technology. The heat collected by the salts, capable of reaching temperatures above 500⁰ C, generates steam and produces electrical power. The surplus heat accumulated during sun hours is stored in the molten-salt tank, allowing Gemasolar to generate electrical power 24 hours a day for many months of the year.

The Solar efficiency guarantees electrical production for 6,500 hours a year. This is 1.5 to 3 times more power than other renewable energies. The plant will thus supply clean, safe power to 25,000 homes and reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30,000 tons a year.