Solar Power for Egypt: Flagsol Supplied the Country’s First Solar Field.
After Solar Millennium has taken the pioneering role in Spain with the initiation and development of the parabolic trough power plants Andasol 1 to 3, the Group has now also supplied the technology for Egypt's first parabolic trough plant. The power plant has been under construction since the beginning of 2008 and in December 2010 the entire solar field was being directed at the sun and the heat energy being fed into the heat exchanger in the power block for the first time. Since July 2011, the power station is connected to the grid, the official inauguration is scheduled for the next few weeks. Apart from natural gas, the hybrid power plant with a capacity of 150 megawatts will also use solar energy for the generation of power. This will come from the solar field that features parabolic troughs with a total mirror surface of more than 130,000 square metres.
Flagsol GmbH, Solar Millennium AG's technology subsidiary, has designed the solar field and delivered the control. Moreover, Flagsol was responsible for the supply of important key components, primarily the parabolic mirrors and the absorber pipes. After bringing the plant into service, Flagsol and Orascom Construction Industries will be responsible for operating the power plant for two years, before it is finally handed over to the owner. The hybrid power plant can be operated round the clock and serves 2 million people with electricity.
The first plant of this kind in Egypt shows that more and more countries, also outside of Europe, are striving to establish sustainable energy generation. Due to its extremely good irradiation conditions, the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) is ideal for solar power plants and is thus increasingly gaining importance at the moment. Apart from Egypt, power plant projects are currently being developed or tendered in Algeria, Morocco, Israel and the United Arab Emirates among others. As such, also the first OPEC states are placing emphasis on this technology that will enable them to produce solar power in large quantities at low cost and in a way that can be planned and scheduled.