Polaris solar PV net news: towering in the Chile desert, Atacama 1 collector-Tower as high as 200 metres Tower-type solar thermal power station will collect energy from the Sun uses a lot of mirrors. But the total investment up to $ 1.1 billion, and Latin America’s first building in the large molten salt Tower-type solar thermal power station, because of its Spain developer Abengoa recently ran into financial difficulty and suffered from questions.
In Chile the Atacama desert hinterland, stands a more than 200-metre high tower, which in remote areas but it is Chile’s second giant of the high buildings, from a distance, seems like a reclusive Prophet in the temple or Temple of the ancient gods, towering and majestic.
In fact, this has a unique structure of the building under construction is a molten salt Tower-type solar thermal power plant, will be built by more than 1 km in diameter mirror field with high precision tracking systems to track and gather the Sun’s heat, a lot of people saw it could put it in touch with contemporary art together.
Map: effects of Atacama1 thermal power station
Chile energy transformation of the landmark project
Atacama 1 that is still in the construction of solar thermal power plants can be said to be Chile from dirty fossil fuel power generation to cleaner and a sign of smart power mode changes. Also thanks to the vast wilderness resources and the best light in terms of resource, Chile is also expected to achieve global minimum cost of solar thermal power.
Earlier this month, was a global concern Paris climate talks to achieve a new global climate change agreement. Under the agreement, the world’s nearly 200 countries have agreed to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. Chile Atacama 1, a total investment of $ 1.1 billion in solar-thermal power station have the common expectations of hope around the world, as it is to show the humanity of renewable energy technologies has gone very far. But many of the projects Spain developer Abengoa reported financial difficulties, and also reminds us of the energy transition faces financial uncertainty may bring more problems than engineering.
At present, Atacama 1 compared to the height of London gherkin and Trump Tower in New York goes beyond the topic structure of Tower-type solar thermal power stations have been completed. The project will be the next big challenge is: how to make iron and steel materials, weighing up to 2000 tons of solar receiver by using the hydraulic jack be installed on more than 200 meters of the top of the tower.
Map: Spain Abengoa is building Chile Atacama1 Tower-type solar thermal power station
System run time during the day, through the receiver weighs more than 50000 tonnes of molten salt can be heated to 565 ℃ high temperature and heat storage, as the sun sets later stored heat can continue to drive a steam turbine to continuously generate electricity. In addition, the staff through regular cleaning to ensure the cleanliness of 10600 heliostats in order for them to better collect and reflect sunlight.
It is reported that this city has hosted numerous renewable energy supporters dream of Tower-type solar thermal power plants to meet the design goals will become a 24-hour uninterrupted capacity 110MW base load power stations.
Or for the first in South America, the world’s largest tower of molten salt solar thermal power station
At present, although in the United States than the Atacama 1 larger-scale solar thermal power plants, but the project is South America’s first large-scale solar thermal power plant. And even the whole world, the project is also the largest tower installed molten salt solar-thermal power station. According to the project said, Atacama 1 plant per square metre compared to the power of United States, and Spain and South Africa and other regions of the same technology and scale of the project to more than 30%.
Abengoa said Roberto Herrera, business development manager: “light resources and molten salts come from Chile home, a big advantage of this is the Atacama 1 project, is a big selling point of our technology, we can make the stable supply of resources to local needs. Because this station is not dependent on imports, so in responding to international crises and price fluctuations in the world will be more secure. In addition, Chile the marginal costs of solar thermal power station is the lowest we built so many solar-thermal power station, we only need 50 maintenance staff, building costs can almost reach the level of gas-fired power stations ($ 120 per kWh), and as technology continues to progress, costs will fall further. ”
The world’s leading Center for renewable energy development
The Atacama desert at an altitude of more than 1100 meters high, solar radiation intensity is very strong, and even can be said to have some risk. To visit visitors must wear protective equipment such as seat belts, helmets and boots, also need to wear sunglasses and apply requirements of industrial-grade protective sunscreen. Despite the very hot weather, security personnel still need to wear a thick uniform and covered every inch of your skin.
Only two or three days a year here is overcast, light intensity and stability is attracting a growing number of solar developers to the Atacama, there has grown to become one of the world’s leading Center for renewable energy development.
Accompanied by the positives of the stimulation, Atacama desert, renewable energy industry is developing with astonishing speed. In addition to solar thermal power plant, here in building a capacity of 100MW PV power generation projects, but also has a daily Assembly 36 heliostat production lines. Every day, the heliostat installed by truck to be shipped to the project site.
Roberto Herrera recalls: “can you imagine that three years ago when I first came to the scene you see here? Time is nothing, no animal, even a Scorpion do not see. And now Chile and South Africa have become our solar business one of the most rapidly growing area of the company. “According to him, the company currently plans to Chile North and South to build solar power projects.
Project financing challenges facing
But reality may will compared cruel, despite Atacama 1 power station and local Government signed has a copies up 20 years of power contract (by sent power most will for meet industrial need, as world Shang maximum of open copper Chuquicamata), and acquisition electric price stable and and profitable, but due to by its developers Abengoa debt of effect, the project of follow-up advance is has may will by some effect. Leveraged development along with the obstacles to expansion mode, Abengoa was forced to start bankruptcy proceedings earlier this month.
It is reported that even before the announced restructuring, Abengoa company executives also said that due to lack of Chile government economic subsidies, Atacama 1 the subsequent construction of the power station will need huge financial support.
Abengoa Chile General Manager Ivan Araneda said: “Atacama 1 power station will be a landmark project, can reduce emissions of carbon dioxide each year 840,000 tons, but our goal is to compete with traditional power generation model, face enormous challenges to quickly cut costs to boost competitiveness. And power plant financing is also a big problem. ”
Original title: bankrupt Abengoa Chile Atacama1 molten salts where Tower power station