Gemasolar, the First 24-Hour Solar Plant
The Gemasolar Power Plant, officially launched in May 2011 near Seville, Spain by Torresol Energy, was the first concentrated solar power plant with a molten salt heat storage system. Unlike other solar power stations, heat stored in these tanks during the day can be released for up to 15 hours overnight, or during periods without sunlight, allowing it to operate essentially 24-hours. The plant guarantees electrical production for a minimum of 270 days per year, up to three times more than other renewable energies, and consists of 2,650 panels spread across 185 hectares of rural land. The mirrors - known as heliostats - focus 95% of the sun’s radiation onto a giant receiver at the center of the plant. See a video tour of the plant here.