Acciona opens biggest solar plant in world in Nevada


Source: ACCIONA Energy

ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales highlights the importance of this facility as part of the company's commitment to a sustainable energy model

ACCIONA is the only Spanish company with an operational plant using parabolic cylinders, the one with the greatest potential for future development in the world

ACCIONA has opened its Nevada Solar One (NSO), a 64 MW solar thermal electric plant located in the Nevada desert. It entered service last year and is the biggest facility of its type built in the world in the last 17 years. With an investment of 266 million dollars, it will supply electricity equivalent to the consumption of 14,000 homes. ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales pointed out that NSO is a benchmark in the company's commitment to a more sustainable energy model.

With this facility ACCIONA has become the first Spanish company to have a solar thermal plant in operation using parabolic cylinders. It strengthens its position as a world leader in the field of renewable energies, extending its activity to another clean energy production technology that will see considerable development in the future.

64 MW capacity with 182,000 mirrors

The 64 MW rated capacity facility is located 51 south-west of Las Vegas near Boulder City in the Nevada desert. It covers a surface area of almost 14 million square feet, equivalent to around 170 soccer fields.

It has 48 linear miles of parabolic trough collectors (760 sections) with 182,000 curved mirrors that collect and concentrate the sun's rays onto 18,240 absorber tubes located in the focal line. A fluid that heats up to 750 ºF circulates through these tubes and is used to generate steam, which drives a turbine connected to a generator to produce electricity.

The power generated is fed into the grid, which runs very near the facility, and is sold to the utility companies Nevada Power and Serra Pacific under to a 20-year purchase contract. Both companies buy the power to cover the demand for electricity produced from renewables in the state of Nevada: 20% of total electricity consumption in 2013, with 5% of the figure coming from solar energy.

Maximum production at peak times of electricity demand

The Nevada facility, which uses in-house solar tracking technology, generates most electricity in peak hours in the middle of the day, when air conditioning hits peak levels in cities such as Las Vegas. It therefore produces power when it is most needed.

The plant's generation capacity is equivalent to the consumption of 14,000 US households.

Entrecanales: 'A milestone in ACCIONA's commitment to sustainability'

ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales, who attended the opening ceremony, said that the group's commitment to a sustainable energy model is strongly shown in Nevada Solar One. It is a major milestone in solar thermal electric technology, one that is 'sufficiently developed to produce energy in large quantities'.

He also highlighted ACCIONA Energía's strategy in the USA, where the company has a presence in the form of wind and solar thermal electric power facilities and a large portfolio of projects under development in both technologies over the next few years.

Entrecanales went on to say: 'We are driving clean energies strongly, and will continue to do so, in the western country with the greatest capacity to contribute towards a more sustainable world, thanks to its political influence, the size of its economy and its potential for reducing CO2 emissions'.

Acciona Energía is a world leader in renewable energies with almost 5,500 MW in service and a strong presence in eight technologies. It has installed almost 5,300 MW of wind power capacity in 192 wind parks in 12 countries, of which 3.824 MW are owned by the company. It owns and operates three biomass plants (33 MW) and 19 small hydro power stations (59 MW). In solar energy, it has installed 41 MW of photovoltaic solar and 29 MW of solar thermal power in addition to Nevada Solar One. It produces 1.5 MW wind turbines using proprietary technology and produces quality standard biodiesel from first-use vegetable oils and bioethanol from wine surplus alcohol. It belongs to the ACCIONA Group, one of the main Spanish and international corporations working in the development and management of infrastructures, services and renewable energies. It is quoted on the selective IBEX-35 (ANA.MC) stock index with a capitalization of over 11 billion euros.

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