Energy Globe World Award 2019
Finalist in the category Fire
The CSP Cerro Dominador is a plant with solar thermal tower technology that uses a series of 10,600 heliostats that track the sun on two axes, concentrating the solar radiation onto a single point on the upper part of the tower. Each heliostat consists of 32 individual mirrors that reach 140 m2. At the receiver, the heat is transferred to the molten salts. In a heat exchanger, the molten salts transfer their heat to a water stream to generate superheated and reheated steam which powers a turbine capable of generating around 110 MW of power.
In Chile, energy is produced mainly through the use of water power, gas and coal. The use of solar power is still not very common. Cerro Dominador emerged from a tender by the Chilean Government and the plan is to develop and build a 110 MW solar thermal plant with 17.5 hours of thermal storage with the help of molten salts. The solar thermal electric plant construction began in May 2014 and the photovoltaic plant construction started in January 2015.
A huge breakthrough was made by this project, since a large solar thermal electric plant with the largest thermal storage in the world is being built. Ten thousands of mirrors are tracking the sun and then reflect and concentrate the solar light on a single point. Molten salts are used to transport the resulting heat to a heat exchanger. There, the heat is used to heat a water stream which generates very hot steam. This steam powers a turbine which can generate more than 100 MW of environmentally friendly power. Thanks to the thermal storage, the power supply can be guaranteed 24 hours a day.
For Latin America this technology is a real revolution, and being the first on the continent, it marks a step of entry and a real possibility to contribute to the confrontation of climate change. The plant has the largest thermal storage in the world which ensures the supply of green electricity 24 hours a day which makes it a real alternative to the production of fossil fuel based power.