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Gemasolar plant in Seville, Spain

Gemasolar is the first commercial plant in the world to use the high temperature tower receiver technology together with molten salt thermal storage of very long duration.

The heliostats set up around the tower refl ect and concentrate solar energy onto the molten salt receiver located at the top of the tower. In the receiver, solar energy is transferred to the molten salts circulating inside, which reach a temperature of 565 ºC. By means of a steam generation system, the molten salts produce overheated steam, that runs a turbine/alternator group to generate electrical energy which then is fed into the power grid. The Gemasolar plant design has been optimised using the SENSOL, a programe developed by SENER that defines the heliostats positioning in the solar field.

The 115 m2 heliostats designed by SENER incorporate a mechanism that accurately positions the surface of the reflective glass.

The molten salt receiver, one of the most important components of this technology, has been developed by SENER with the collaboration of CIEMAT.

The molten salt system stores the excess thermal energy produced during daylight hours and provides the energy required to ensure the plant can remain operational for up to 15 hours without sunlight.

Gemasolar is able to produce 110 GWh per year, generate enough power to supply 27,500 households and reduce by more than 30,000 tons per year the CO2 emissions.

Technical data:

  • Total mirror surface: 310,000 m2
  • Number of heliostats: 2,650
  • Field surface area: 185 Ha
  • Receiver capacity: 120 MWt
  • Tower height: 140 m
  • Thermal storage capacity: 670 MWhth (15 h)
  • Turbine capacity: 19.9 MWe
  • Thermal cycle efficiency: 40%
  • Annual normal direct radiation: 2,172 KWh/m2


  • NG hibridation: 15%
  • Annual equivalent hours: 6,450 h/year
  • Annual capacity factor: 74%
Gemasolar Gemasolar

Client: GEMASOLAR 2006

Country: Spain

Start date: 2006

End date: 2011


Gemasolar: how it works

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Gemasolar plant video

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