The construction of world’s first solar power plant capable of producing clean energy all day and night has finally been finished. According to Gemasolar, the company behind the project, the solar power plant is able to generate electricity during the day and also the night because it has 15 hours of energy storage to back it up.
Because the energy coming from the sun is unpredictable, solar power plants have to be backed up at those times when clouds appear, and you have to do that quick enough so that the power plant is considered trustworthy 24/7.
As the researchers said, this type of plant is described as one which captures electricity in a salt “battery.” The plant is equipped with a collector that receives all the hot sunlight and then transfers heat to molten salt in which it is stored for later use.
When the sky is overcast, the heat from the molten salt is used to boil water, generate steam, spin a turbine and make electricity – not the most efficient method possible, but the cheapest available. Gemasolar expects that the 19.9MW plant they built in Spain will generate 110 GWh per year.