Siemens and Valoriza achieve crucial milestone: Lebrija solar thermal power plant feeds power to the grid
With a capacity of 50 megawatts, the Lebrija plant can supply environmentally friendly electricity for around 30,000 Spanish households when operating at full load. All internal and external test runs demonstrated the operability and operational readiness of the plant's systems. On December the 27, the plant was granted approval for the RIPRE (Registro de Instalaciones de Producción de Régimen Especial) Final Registry from the Andalucían Government. The plant has been feeding electricity into the grid ever since. Siemens provided Lebrija's complete solar field, with all the solar receivers, collectors and mirrors, as well as the steam turbine. Valoriza provided the civil works, power block, and heat transfer fluid system. In addition, Siemens provided integration, control system and engineering services. The two companies are jointly responsible for operation and maintenance.
"The Lebrija project demonstrates our comprehensive solution portfolio for solar thermal power plants. This is the first plant in which not only the steam turbine, but also the complete solar field was supplied by Siemens", stated Ted Scheidegger, CEO of the Solar & Hydro Division of Siemens Energy. "Solar thermal power still has interesting potential ahead of it. New applications and lower cost will open new markets for this environmentally friendly technology. Research and development play a key role here and Siemens is well underway in implementing attractive cost and applications road maps."
"This project represents for Sacyr Vallehermoso Group and Valoriza Energía as a subsidiary, the consolidation of a strategy aimed at the realization of all kinds of turnkey projects, both energy (cogeneration and biomass plants) and industrial projects", said Pedro Núñez-Barranco, Managing Director of Valoriza Energía. "Valoriza Energía is also capable of developing this kind of project anywhere in the world."
Solar thermal power plants use mirrors to concentrate solar energy and heat oil around 400 ° Celsius; the oil transfers its thermal energy to water, which ultimately produces pressurized steam. This steam drives a turbine, which converts mechanical energy into electricity through a generator. The solar field in Lebrija consists of more than 400,000 square meters of mirrors (equal to an area of more than 54 soccer fields), all installed on 6,048 collectors, each with 28 individual mirrors. If placed in a line, the 6,048 parabollic mirrors would cover a distance of 72 kilometers. The highest degree of precision is required here: The curvature of the mirrors is exact down to a fraction of a degree and the mirrors themselves track the position of the sun at all times to allow as much solar energy as possible to be concentrated and then ultimately converted into electricity.
Valoriza Energía handles all energy-related projects for the Sacyr Vallehermoso Group and focuses their activities on the development, construction and operation of both energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The main areas Valoriza Energía works in, aside from solar energy, are the following:
- Cogeneration: Preliminary energy studies, technical design, construction, commissioning and industrial operation. Valoriza Energía has completed more than 80 cogeneration plants and also operates cogeneration plants designed to dry organic sludge generated during olive oil extraction (olive husk).
- Generation of electricity from renewable sources: Biomass (agricultural and forestry), photovoltaic, solar thermoelectric, wind and geothermal.
- Energy management including optimisation of consumption, centralisation of facilities and energy plant management.
Iberese is the engineering section of Valoriza and has over 20 years experience in developing new technologies to exploit renewable energies and improve energy efficiency. They also participate in a large number of international, national and regional R&D&i programmes and in the formation of internal inter-disciplinary groups searching for applications for these improved technologies.