Israeli firm to open solar thermal power station in Spain

Israeli technology will soon be harnassing the Spanish sun at a research and development park located on the country’s sun-drenched Mediterranean coast.

AORA Solar, an Israeli developer of applied ultra-high temperature concentrated solar power (CSP), will be opening its second-ever gas-turbine solar thermal power station in Almeria, Spain, on February 7.

Their first such plant was opened at Kibbutz Samar in the Arava Desert in near Eilat in June 2009. The roughly 2,000-square-meter facilities are capable of supplying 100 KW of electricity per hour to their respective regions and about 170 KW of heat energy as a biproduct, which in the case of Spain will be used to power an adjacent desalination facility.

The AORA system operates on a hybrid basis, in which it can operate with solar-only mode, fuel-only mode (which is used at night) or a combination of the two, on a cloudy day, for example. While both the Almeria and the Samar plants are using diesel fuel as their second source, the plan is to switch the Samar facility to natural gas as soon as supplies become readily available.

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