World’s largest linear solar power plant able to power 15,000 Spanish homes

Concentrating solar power (CSP) technology to produce 30 megawatts (50 million kilowatt-hours per year) of clean solar energy for the Spanish power grid

The Puerto Errado 2 (PE2) solar thermal power plant in Murcia, Spain became the world’s first linear Fresnel solar energy facility to generate power on a large utility-scale basis.

By leveraging concentrating solar power (CSP) technology this facility is able to produce 30 megawatts (50 million kilowatt-hours per year) of clean solar energy for the Spanish power grid – enough to power 15,000 Spanish homes and avoid some 16,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

What’s different about this technology?

It’s based on a patented and award-winning modular solar boiler and a unique solar field design of linear Fresnel collectors. Developed by Novatec Solar, a company in which ABB is a strategic shareholder, it uses direct steam generation and, unlike other solar thermal technologies, doesn’t require heat exchangers and oil-filled absorber tube networks for heat transfer. Instead it utilizes compact, almost flat, glass mirrors. The Fresnel technology produces steam in a temperature range from 270°C to 500°C depending on the steam application.

Finding efficiencies and lowering costs

By using standard materials such as sheet plates and glass mirrors the cost of building and operating the plants is exceptionally low. This is because the automated mass production of key components can be made in locally erected production facilities and quickly and accurately assembled. And because the resulting plant is land efficient and uses a robotic cleaning system that uses very little water.

The technology is ideal for a wide range of applications such as solar thermal power stations, enhanced oil recovery, solar desalination, solar cooling, and to providing process steam or heat for mining and other industries.


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Gregory Hollings

Working every day to produce stories that highlight ABB's innovations!
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