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  • Jutta Glänzel
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New solar technology achieves major milestone

The world’s first utility-scale solar thermal power plant based on Linear Fresnel technology has started construction in Murcia, Spain.

(PresseBox) (Karlsruhe, ) The 30MW Puerto Errado 2 plant represents a breakthrough in solar power, as a large-scale low-cost plant, and also as the largest direct steam generator. The plant uses proprietary solar field technology developed by Novatec Biosol AG, a company majority owned by Transfield Holdings.
The Novatec solar technology has wide application, suitable in gas and coal fired power plants as a fuel saver and in industrial facilities requiring process heat. It uses less material than existing solar thermal technologies; fabrication of the solar field components is highly automated and installation is straightforward. Moreover, the plant uses much less land and water than existing plants; all resulting in a more cost effective generation of solar thermal energy with less environmental impact.
Once operational, the 30MW plant will generate enough power to supply approximately 20,000 households and displace electricity generation that would have otherwise produced some 49,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per annum.
Swiss energy utilities, Elektra Baselland and Industrielle Werke Basel have invested in the project together with Novatec and given the go ahead to commence construction. The official groundbreaking took place on 23 April 2010. This followed detailed evaluation of the existing 1.4 MW Puerto Errado 1 demonstration plant, which commenced selling power to the Spanish grid in March 2009. On completion in 2012, the PE2 will also benefit from a Spanish Government feed-in-tariff.
PE2 will use 300,000 square metres of flat mirrors to capture sufficient sun energy to run two 15MW GE turbines.
Novatec is pursuing a number of projects internationally, including fuel saving projects in conventional fossil fuel power plants.

Media Contact:
Kate Bowes: +44 7770 694 769

About Novatec’s Linear Fresnel Technology
Novatec’s Linear Fresnel Solar Field is a direct steam generator consisting of banks of parallel rows of flat mirrors (primary reflectors), each bank reflecting and focussing solar radiation onto a focal line. Along this line a receiver is installed, which consists of a secondary reflector and absorber pipe. Water, flowing through the absorbers, turns into steam, which is collected in a steam drum and dispatched to a steam turbine/generator. By comparison, conventional solar thermal power plants use oil as a heat transfer medium. Images available at

About Novatec

Novatec BioSol AG is a solar power technology development company based in Karlsruhe, Germany. Novatec was formed in 2005 by German engineers with expertise in solar research and development, automated production technology and the design and implementation of renewable energy systems. More information can be found at

About Elektra Baselland

EBL is a privately owned utility whose core businesses are electricity, heating and telecommunications. EBL is committed to ecologically produced energy and to the sustainable protection of the environment. A leading provider of telecommunications services in Switzerland, EBL is also an effective partner in advanced heat generation and distribution. More information can be found at

About Industrielle Werke Basel

IWB is an independent utility company supplying the canton of Basel-Stadt with power and drinking water. IWB also supplies 27 communities in north western Switzerland with natural gas and provides energy and telecom services. In this way, IWB is responding to the needs of its customers for safe, economic and environmentally sustainable energy sources. More information can be found at

About Transfield Holdings

Transfield Holdings joined Novatec as its major shareholder in 2007. Transfield Holdings is a privately-owned investment and development company based in Sydney, Australia, with a 50 year history in developing, financing and managing infrastructure businesses and projects, in Australia and internationally. More information can be found at