MAN Solar Millennium Gets Solar Power Plant Assignment
A joint venture company between Solar Millennium AG and MAN Ferrostaal AG to act as general contractor for a parabolic-trough plant in Spain. The Andasol 3 power plant will provide solar-generated electricity for up to 200,000 people
Located in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia, the Andasol 3 parabolic-trough power plant will be built in close proximity to its sister projects Andasol 1 and 2, which feature essentially the same design and represent the first parabolic-trough power plants in Europe. The new plant will provide up to 200,000 people with solar-generated power. Parabolic mirrors with a surface area of about 500,000 m2 (the equivalent of 70 football fields) will concentrate the sun’s energy to create heat, which will then be converted to electricity by means of a steam turbine. Thermal storage units will allow energy to be generated in a timed manner, so that the Spanish power grid will be able to draw upon environmentally clean electric power even during the night. All three Andasol projects were developed by the South-German firm Solar Millennium AG, and together constitute the single biggest solar-energy site in the world.
Solar Millennium has placed an order for the completion of early works through its project company of Andasol 3. MAN Solar Millennium (a joint venture company between MAN Ferrostaal and Solar Millennium launched in May 2007) plans to form a partnership with Spanish construction firm Duro Felguera S.A. Energía (based in Gijón) to ensure that the solar power plant can be delivered in turn-key condition within the next 30 months. As the mastermind partner, MAN Solar Millennium, will be responsible for the bulk of the construction work. The technical layout of Andasol 3’s solar field will be assigned to Flagsol GmbH, a technological subsidiary of Solar Millennium.
In realising this ambitious project, MAN Solar Millennium will be able to draw upon the competencies of both of its parent companies: MAN Ferrostaal contributes its know-how as international general contractor and an industrial plant building company while Solar Millennium bring to the joint venture its experience with technical design and construction of solar-thermal power plants. “Breaking ground on the Andasol 3 parabolic-trough power plant in the context of our early-works assignment is a critical first step towards making MAN Solar Millennium a leading provider of solar-thermal power plants,” explains Michael Pohl, Managing Director of MAN Solar Millennium.
The potential for solar-thermal power plants is enormous. Research by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) shows that, by the middle of this century, solar-thermal plants in the Mediterranean Basin could generate twice as much power as wind, photovoltaic, biomass and geothermal put together. By that time, renewable energies may well have replaced fossil fuels in the region to a large extent. “MAN Solar Millennium has been present in this huge growth market right from the beginning and already has tried-and-tested technologies,” adds Christian Beltle, Chairman of Solar Millennium’s Managing Board and Managing Director of MAN Solar Millennium. “Over the long term, we can even export solar-power from the Mediterranean region to cover a portion of Central Europe’s energy demand. Theoretically, even less than three percent of the surface of the Sahara would suffice to satisfy the world’s electricity demand with this type of solar power plant.”
About the technology
Solar-thermal power plants generate electricity using the thermal energy of captured solar rays. In the case of a parabolic-trough power plant, trough-shaped mirrors concentrate incoming rays onto a tube along the collector’s focal point. Once absorbed into the tube, the solar rays pass their heat on to a conducting fluid, which in turn creates steam inside the plant’s generating unit by means of heat exchangers. As with conventional power plants, the steam is used to create power via a turbine. Thanks to the integration of a thermal storage unit, electricity can be made available on a scheduled basis. Thus, solar-power plants are able to generate power even after sunset. For more details, please see: www.SolarMillennium.de/....
MAN Solar Millennium GmbH
MAN Solar Millennium GmbH is a joint venture of MAN Ferrostaal and Solar Millennium for project development, turnkey construction and financing of large scale solar thermal power plants in the range from 20 to 250 megawatt. Each company hold 50 percent in the new joint company. The aim of MAN Solar Millennium is to establish the joint venture as one of the world's leading suppliers of solar thermal power plants. MAN Solar Millennium draws upon the competencies of both of its parent companies. MAN Ferrostaal is, as a plant constructor and general contractor with financial competence, in a position to realise international projects. Solar Millennium has technology which is commercially approved and many years of long-term experience in the development and realisation of solar thermal power plants. Together with its 100%-owned subsidiary Flagsol GmbH, it is providing engineering for parabolic trough power plants, a proven and reliable technology, in which the company has a leading market position worldwide.