A biomass-solar hybrid plant begins operations

By Staff | March 04, 2013

A 22.5 MW hybrid biomass-thermosolar power plant has begun operations in Les Borges Blanques, Spain. The facility, developed by Abantia and Comsa Emte, combines solar power generation with biomass-fired power generation in a system that allows for continuous electrical production, even when the sun isn’t shining.

The biomass portion of the facility takes in forestry waste as its primary feedstock. It can, however, also be fueled in part by energy crops and agricultural residues.

When the solar portion of the plant is operational, solar thermal collectors heat a thermal fuel to 400 degrees Celsius. The fluid is then routed to the power plant block. When there is no sunlight, the biomass portion of the facility produces steam.

MAN Diesel & Turbo supplied the MARC-R high-pressure steam turbine that generates power at the facility. According to Simon Radermacher, a sales engineer with the company, this type of hybrid arrangement could theoretically be installed at any thermosolar power plant to ensure a reliable supply of electricity.