The Cerro Dominador solar thermal plant, which is being built by a consortium formed by Abengoa and Acciona for its owner EIG Gobal Energy Partners, has successfully completed one of its main milestones in its execution: the fusion of more than 46,000 tons of salts from the Atacama Desert in Chile.
These salts, melted for 56 days, have the capacity to conserve up to 17.5 extra hours the energy captured throughout the day, thanks to the plant’s thermal storage system in tanks, which provides great flexibility to the electrical system. The salts are kept at a temperature of 560 ºC in the case of hot salt tanks, and at 290 ºC in the case of cold salt tanks.
Recently, the consortium also celebrated the completion of one of the major technical maneuvers of the project: the raising of the 2,300-ton receiver, built at the ground floor, to the top of the tower, 250 meters high. In total, the rise of the receiver was developed in a week and has become the first maneuver of this type carried out in the world.
Cerro Dominador, the first solar thermal plant in Latin America
The consortium formed by Abengoa and Acciona is building the Cerro Dominador solar thermal plant, located in the region of María Elena, in the Chilean Atacama Desert. This will be the first solar thermal plant in Latin America and will have a capacity of 110 MW.
This project will generate clean energy in a dispatchable manner for 24 hours and will have a thermal storage capacity in molten salts of 17.5 hours. The 146-hectare solar field has 10,600 heliostats that will direct solar radiation to a receiver located at 252 meters high.
Thanks to the clean energy generated by this plant with solar thermal tower technology, the emission of 640,000 tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere will be avoided.
Abengoa acts as a builder and technological partner of the project, contributing all its know-how in the construction of solar thermal plants, with an experience of more than 30 years. The company has developed and built plants with an installed capacity of 2.2 GW, which represents 34% of the installed capacity worldwide. Among its latest projects: its participation in the construction of the world's largest solar complex in Dubai.
For its part, Acciona has extensive experience in the development and execution of solar thermal projects around the world. The company has built a total of 10 solar thermal plants with a total capacity of 624 MW, and the construction of the 100 MW Kathu plant in South Africa has recently been completed. Cerro Dominador becomes the fifth solar thermal plant that the company builds outside of Spain.