PS10 solar power plant

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PS10 Solar Power Plant
PS10 solar power tower.jpg
PS10 solar power plant is located in Spain
PS10 solar power plant
Location of PS10 Solar Power Plant in Spain
Official name Planta Solar 10
Country Spain
Location Sanlúcar la Mayor, Seville Province, Andalusia
Coordinates 37°26′32″N 06°15′15″W / 37.44222°N 6.25417°W / 37.44222; -6.25417Coordinates: 37°26′32″N 06°15′15″W / 37.44222°N 6.25417°W / 37.44222; -6.25417
Status Operational
Construction began 2004
Commission date 30 March 2007[1]
Construction cost 35 million
Owner(s) Abengoa Solar
Solar field
Type CSP
CSP technology Solar power tower
Collectors 624
Site resource 2,012 kWh/m2/yr
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 11 MW
Capacity factor 24%
Annual gross output 23.4 GWh

The PS10 Solar Power Plant (Spanish: Planta Solar 10), is the world's first commercial concentrating solar power tower operating near Seville, in Andalusia, Spain. The 11 megawatt (MW) solar power tower produces electricity with 624 large movable mirrors called heliostats.[2] It took four years to build and so far cost €35 million (US$46 million).[3] PS10 produces about 23,400 megawatt-hours (MW·h) per year, for which it receives €271 (US$360) per MW·h under its power purchase agreement, equating to a revenue of €6.3 million per year.[4]


The mirrors were delivered by Abengoa, the solar receiver was designed and built by Tecnical-Tecnicas Reunidas, a Spanish engineering company; and the Solar Tower was designed and built by ALTAC, another Spanish engineering and construction company.


Each of the mirrors has a surface measuring 1,292 square feet (120.0 m2) that concentrates the sun's rays to the top of a 115-meter (377 ft) high, 40-story tower where a solar receiver and a steam turbine are located. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity.[2]

The PS10 is located 20 km west of Seville (which receives at least nine hours of sunshine 320 days per year, with 15 hours per day in mid summer). The solar receiver at the top of the tower produces saturated steam at 275 °C. The energy conversion efficiency is approximately 17%.[5]


Solar Towers from left: PS10, PS20.
The first three units of Solnova. I (right) III (left, front) and IV (left rear). The two towers in the background are the PS10 and PS20 solar power stations.

PS10 is the first of a set of solar power generation plants to be constructed in the same area that will total more than 300 MW by 2013.[citation needed] Power generation will be accomplished using a variety of technologies. The first two power plants to be brought into operation at Sanlúcar la Mayor are the PS10, and Sevilla PV, the largest low concentration system photovoltaic plant in Europe.[2]

300 MW:
Completed and is operating:

  • PS10 (10 MW)
  • PS20 (20 MW)
  • Solnova 1 (50 MW)
  • Solnova 3 (50 MW)
  • Solnova 4 (50 MW)

total: 180 MW.

Three more plants are planned:

  • AZ20 (20 MW)
  • Solnova 2 (50 MW)
  • Solnova 5 (50 MW)

Total 120 MW.

PS20 and AZ20 are twin 20 MWe tower plants based on the same concept as PS10.[6]

Energy storage[edit]

The PS10 solar power tower stores heat in tanks as superheated and pressurized water at 50 bar and 285 °C. The water evaporates and flashes back to steam, releasing energy and reducing the pressure. Storage is for 30 minutes.[7] It is suggested that longer storage is possible, but that has not been proven yet in an existing power plant. However, there are many considerations for using molten salt as an energy storage medium due to the great capability of storing energy for long periods without substantial losses. Another possibility is to use a phase-change material as thermal storage where latent heat is used to store energy.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]