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Australia’s growing battery storage industry has prompted the update of battery rules. From June to July Growatt will join a number of senior industry experts in New Battery Rules Training Workshops held by Australia’s SEC (Smart Energy Council) and present its smart solar storage solutions to the audience. PV and battery installers, designers, electricians and sales representatives are coming together for training on battery installations, system configurations and storage solutions.

Growatt provides a wide range of solar storage solutions for customers. Growatt SPH single-phase and three-phase hybrid inverters can work at both on-grid and off-grid modes, and they are also compatible with a variety of lithium batteries. For existing solar system, owner can choose to retrofit the system with Growatt SPA single-phase or three-phase inverter and turn it into energy storage system.

Yet, that’s not all. At the event in Melbourne on June 27, Growatt product manager Rex Wang introduced a neat storage ready inverter, TL-XH. The inverter works with low voltage battery and is perfect for home owners who are looking to convert their rooftop PV systems into solar storage systems in the future. What makes it more special is its smart storage management system. With the system, Growatt can gather real-time battery data, including cycle number, cell information, voltage and current of each battery cell. Customers can read the electricity generation, battery status, power consumption on Growatt OSS(Online Smart Service) platform. This data can also help service engineers quickly analyze and diagnose the system and locate faulty part in case of a system failure.

Furthermore, Growatt has been developing and testing its Smart Home Energy Management System that will maximize energy production and optimize power consumption of your solar storage system according to your system location, power consumption habits, etc. In addition, grid operators can access Growatt storage system and integrate the system into the “Micro Grid” to enhance grid stability.

For better customer experience, Growatt offers battery, inverter and accessories as a package. Customers can avoid the hassle reaching out to both inverter and battery manufacturers in case there’re system issues. With extraordinary products and services Growatt has become the World Top 3 Single-Phase PV Inverter Supplier by 2018 according to IHS Markit. Globally, Growatt shipped a total capacity of more than 3.3 GW inverters in 2018 and the number is expected to reach 4 GW this year.

Source: Growatt

Sistema de conversión de potencia de Ingeteam para un proyecto piloto en Dubái, el primer sistema de almacenamiento de energía en EAU acoplado a una planta fotovoltaica a gran escala / Ingeteam's power conversion system (PCS) for a pilot project in Dubai, the first energy storage system paired with a PV plant at a grid-scale level in the UAE. Foto cortesía de /Photo courtesy of: Ingeteam

In a recently published report, Wood Mackenzie projects solar-plus-storage LCOE for both utility-scale and distributed commercial & industrial (C&I) segments to decline considerably over the next five years. As grid resiliency and renewables intermittency continue to be a challenge in Asia Pacific’s power markets, solar-plus-storage could address these issues particularly as solar and battery costs continue to decline.

According to Wood Mackenzie, unsubsidised utility-scale LCOE for a 4-hour lithium-ion solar-plus-storage will command a cost premium between 48% and 123% over solar LCOE in 2019. This will reduce to between 39% and 121% in 2023. By then, solar-plus-storage costs would already be competitive against gas peakers in all the National Electricity Market (NEM) states of Australia. The country’s utility-scale solar-plus-storage LCOE will hover at about 23% above average wholesale electricity price.

Only Thailand is expected to have a utility-scale solar-plus-storage LCOE below the average wholesale electricity price by 2023. While the country does not have a wholesale electricity market, industrial power price taken as a proxy is higher compared to other wholesale markets and hence shows competitive solar-plus-storage economics.

CAPEX subsidies and additional remuneration through different forms of renewables certificate will be crucial for projects to go-ahead.

In general, Wood Mackenzie expects the average solar-plus-storage LCOE in Asia Pacific to decrease 23% from US$133/MWh this year to US$101/MWh in 2023.

On the distributed C&I solar-plus-storage front, the storage premium over solar LCOE is between 56% and 204% this year. In 2023, the cost premium will narrow to between 47% and 167%. The reason for such wide LCOE range is because there are some mature markets where solar cost is extremely competitive while others are not and some in-between. This is due to a mix of labour/ land/ environment/ civil costs, weighted average cost of capital, and procurement methods (tenders vs feed-in tariffs (FIT)). Also, some markets have very well established supply chains with the availability of storage manufacturing.

Unsubsidised C&I solar-plus-storage is expected to be competitive in Australia, India and the Philippines by 2023.

The residential market also poses a great opportunity for solar-plus-storage. In 2018 with the help of government subsidies, Australia’s New South Wales saw a 76% savings on annual electric bills through solar-plus-storage installations. Another attractive residential solar-plus-storage market is Japan. FIT for 600 MW of solar projects is poised to expire this year. As power prices are set to increase, storage retrofits provide an opportunity for home consumers to avoid high residential prices.

Source: Wood Mackenzie

CSP with thermal storage will bridge dispatchable energy gap according to GlobalData. The company’s latest report ‘Energy Storage – A Key Determinant for the Future of Concentrated Solar Power Market’ reveals that retirements of coal based plants and increase in influx of intermittent renewable power sources in order to achieve climate goals provide potential market opportunity for CSP with thermal storage.

The influx of renewable power sources such as wind and solar backed by ambitious targets and plans to phase out coal- or decommission coal fleet to reduce carbon footprint by various countries will lead to an energy gap for dispatchable generation. CSP with energy storage has the ability to bridge the demand and supply gap for dispatchable electricity.

Global installed capacity for CSP was around 5.6 GW at the end of 2018, of which only 2.6 GW is with energy storage. In contrast, of the total CSP projects under various stages of development, 95.8% of the upcoming capacity has storage. Majority of the active CSP projects with storage are with a thermal storage capacity in the range of 6-10 hours. In case of the under-development CSP capacity, 62.8% is with storage of 10-13 hours and 14% has over 13 hour storage. This shows the increased importance given to long hours of storage by project developers and owners to not only provide stable and reliable power 24/7, but also reduce the cost of electricity generation from CSP by using longer duration of thermal energy storage.

Auction results over last few years indicated declining cost of generation for CSP projects with storage. The years 2017 and 2018 have been breakthrough years for CSP in terms of cost reduction with prices for projects expected to be commissioned from 2020 onwards to be in the range of $0.06/kWh to $0.12/kWh.

Source: GlobalData

For most people, their personal energy revolution begins with the installation of a PV system on the roof of their home. This allows them not only to cover their domestic energy needs, but also to make use of the entire spectrum of options offered by energy sector integration thanks to the intelligent solutions from Fronius Solar Energy. The ultimate goal is to power an entire household exclusively from self-generated solar energy, which can also be used to heat water and for e-mobility. This helps to increase the rate of self-sufficiency and to more efficiently utilise the PV system. When it comes to e-mobility in particular, it is important to have a suitable overall concept comprising a PV system, energy storage system, hot water generation and a wallbox – in other words, a domestic charging station for electric cars, bringing a new level of meaning to ‘solar power’.

A personal energy revolution involves exploiting the entire spectrum of energy sector integration. Optimum energy management enables the highest possible rate of self-sufficiency to be achieved with self-generated solar energy. This increases profitability and the rate of self-consumption while simultaneously reducing costs. Alongside electricity and heat, mobility is the third major sector that can be powered with electricity from a user’s own roof using solutions from Fronius.

If you own an electric car, you’ll want to power it with solar energy,” explains Martin Hackl, Global Director Solar Energy at Fronius. “But you’re often not at home when the electricity from your domestic PV system is available.” This is where Fronius comes in: the solar energy experts are taking e-mobility to the next level and are making it possible to charge an electric car in the afternoon or evening with the electricity stored throughout the day. “It’s about having an energy solution that guarantees an electric car really is fuelled with green electricity,” adds Hackl. “To achieve this, you need to get the entire package right.

Fuelling a car with green electricity

Owners of electric cars essentially have three ways of charging their vehicles. The easiest, yet most ineffective method, is to simply plug the car into the socket or wallbox when power is required and use the energy available at that moment. This often only enables the user to achieve a slight increase in self-consumption, as a large proportion of the electricity needed is drawn from the public grid.

To charge the electric car’s battery intelligently, a Fronius inverter with an integrated energy management function and a compatible wallbox (charging station for the home) is required alongside the PV system on the roof. The inverter informs the wallbox when there is surplus electricity available, which then charges the electric car. Self-consumption can typically be increased by a further 20% in this way.

Dynamic charge control (the car is charged with precisely the amount of surplus electricity that is available at the given time) and an additional Fronius battery raise the rate of self-consumption up to almost 100%, depending on the system size and consumption behaviour. With this method, the energy management system sends the surplus electricity that has been produced throughout the day to a Fronius Solar Battery for temporary storage until it is later needed to fuel the car with solar power.

This ingenious method enables users to really get the most out of e-mobility,” says Hackl. “If you also upgrade your system with a Fronius Ohmpilot, which draws on surplus electricity to generate hot water, you will have a solution that makes the most economic sense and achieves the highest level of self-sufficiency.

Source: Fronius

CMBlu Energy and Mann+Hummel have signed an agreement for the joint development and industrialization of energy converters for organic redox flow batteries. The aim of both partners is to support electric mobility through the development of the charging infrastructure and offer the energy sector a sustainable and highly cost-efficient storage technology for a successful energy transition.

From the idea to the laboratory, then series production

The business idea for redox flow batteries with organic electrolytes derived from lignin (‘Organic Flow’) was already conceived in 2011 and since 2014, CMBlu has carried out intensive research and development. These batteries essentially consist of two tanks of liquid electrolyte and an energy converter, which consists of a large number of adjacent rows of cells and is therefore also referred to as a battery stack. The liquids are pumped through the battery stacks and is charged or discharged as required.

The technology developed by CMBlu has now reached the prototype stage. The further development and industrialization of the battery stack is regulated in the long-term cooperation agreement with Mann+Hummel. For this purpose Mann+Hummel has created a spin-off named i2M, which is dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative technologies. In the next step Mann+Hummel will build a complete production line in an European plant. CMBlu will realize special pilot projects with reference customers in the next two years. Starting in 2021, CMBlu plans to market the first commercial systems.

Benefits of organic flow batteries

Similar to the principle of conventional redox flow batteries, CMBlu’s organic flow batteries store electrical energy in aqueous solutions of organic chemical compounds derived from lignin that are pumped through the energy converter, i.e. battery stack. The special feature of the flow batteries is that the capacity and electrical output can be scaled independently. The number of stacks defines the output of the batteries. A higher number of stacks multiplies the output. The capacity of the battery is only limited by the size of the tanks. This allows flexible customization to take into account the respective application area. For example, solar power can be stored for several hours and then fed into the grid at night.

In order to achieve cost-effective mass production, the most important components in the stack were adjusted to the organic electrolyte. In this process, almost the entire value chain for the stacks can be supplied locally. There is no dependency on imports from other countries. In addition, the battery stacks do not require rare-earth metals or heavy metals. The aqueous electrolytes in the system are not combustible or explosive and can be used safely.

Variety of applications in the grid

Organic flow batteries are suitable for numerous application areas in the power grid such as the intermediate storage of power from renewable energy generation or in connection with the balancing of demand peaks in industrial companies. An additional application area is the charging infrastructure required for electric mobility. The batteries enable a buffer storage to relieve power grids which do not have to be upgraded for additional loads. It enables simultaneous fast charging of electric vehicles. Ultimately, a decentralized charging network for electric vehicles will only be possible in connection with a high performance and scalable energy storage system.

Nature as a model for energy storage

The concept is based on the mode of energy in the human body. In the citric acid cycle the body also uses a redox reaction of organic molecules. CMBlu has now succeeded in applying this principle to large-scale storage of electrical energy. For this purpose the company use the mostly unused resource of lignin, which is readily available in unlimited quantities and accrues in amounts of millions of tons annually in the pulp and paper industry. CMBlu’s technology enables a very large and cost effective energy storage system. The battery stack is the core of the system and requires the highest quality and process reliability in the production process.

The manufacture of electrolytes includes a number of filtration steps, which Mann+Hummel performs using new special membranes. This technology further expands its product range and at the same time contributes to build the infractruture needed for electric vehicles.

Source: CMBlu Energy and Mann+Hummel

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Acciona Energía has begun a project to generally implement the traceability of the renewable nature of its electricity generation worldwide through blockchain technology, meaning that its clients who require it can check –in real time and from any location in the world- that 100% of the electricity supplied is clean.

For the development in the initial phases of the project, called GREENCHAIN, Acciona Energía has reached agreement with FlexiDAO, a company that specializes in offering software tools to electric power companies for digital energy services. FlexiDAO was one of the start-ups selected by Acciona in the second edition of its open innovation programme I’MNOVATION last June, in which 231 companies from 16 countries were assessed.

Since then, FlexiDAO has worked with Acciona Energía on the creation of a commercial demonstrator to ensure the traceability of the renewable generation from five wind and hydro facilities in Spain to its supply to four corporate clients in Portugal. Acciona Energía has thus become the first entity to trace renewable energy through blockchain in Spain and Portugal. A specialized blockchain platform for the electric power sector called Energy Web Blockchain has been used for this demonstrator.

The next step is to continue implementation in new areas, starting with the most suitable markets for this kind of service, i.e. those that do not have consolidated renewable energy certification systems, as is the case in several Latin American countries where Acciona Energía has a strong presence, such as Mexico and Chile.

“Tracing the renewable origin of energy is an ever-increasing demand, associated with the growth of the corporate contracting market for green energy, and blockchain technology can facilitate this service considerably to clients in any part of the world. We are very pleased to take this first step along a route that will surely set the trend over the next few years”, says Belén Linares, Director of Innovation of Acciona Energía.

FlexiDAO co-founder and CEO Simone Accornero adds that “we are demonstrating that the traceability of renewable energy is now a viable proposition that generates real value for the consumer. Together with Acciona we want to be pioneers in showing that this blockchain-based system is commercially viable on a large scale”.

The advantages of the system lie in the simplicity of its integration with data systems, both of Acciona and the end client: ease of access, scalability and the complete security and privacy of data that blockchain ensures.

Acciona has also pioneered the application of traceability through blockchain in its two renewable plants with energy storage in batteries in Spain: at Barásoain (with wind power) and Tudela (with PV), both located in Navarra, under the STORECHAIN project.

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SENER, global engineering and technology group, together with its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partners, Emvelo and Cobra, announces that the Ilanga-1 Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant has been completed.

The EPC partners reached the certificate to initiate commercial operation of the turnkey solar thermal power plant project located at Karoshoek Solar Valley on 30 November 2018. This means the conclusion of construction, commissioning and testing of the 100 MWe Concentrated Solar Power plant. The plant has been handed over to the owner, Karoshoek Solar One (RF) Proprietary Limited. The plant will supply electricity to the national grid through Eskom, the South African electricity public utility.

“This is a historic moment in South Africa’s energy transition as another renewable energy powerplant that supplies clean, reliable, sustainable and dispatchable energy is successfully completed. We are particularly pleased that it was completed on time, within budget, within the required quality standards, in line with the contracted output performance and within acceptable safety standards. We are also pleased with the level of localization, BBBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment), skills development and job creation that was achieved on the project. It is a clear indication of what is possible if the CSP industry can be nurtured and allowed to flourish in South Africa. SENER is proud of being a technology provider, engineering subcontractor and member of the EPC contractor on such a special project.” said Siyabonga Mbanjwa, Regional Managing Director for SENER Southern Africa.

“Ilanga 1 will provide on-demand power to South Africans for the next 20 years, in the same manner as conventional power generation projects. It has no fuel costs nor harmful emissions and has created employment for many people in the area of Upington. Ilanga 1 is an important step in South Africa’s energy future, procuring on-demand power from an efficient and accountable source with no resource risk and a controlled tariff. We as Grupo Cobra look forward to the continued growth of the local energy sector and will continue to provide world class development, construction and operations services to the South African market” said Jose Minguillon, CEO of Cobra South Africa.

“This is the first CSP plant in the history of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPPP) that was conceived and developed by a 100% black owned South African entity. This demonstrates that Black Industrialists can lead in the development and execution of large renewable energy infrastructure projects. With a 550MWe pipeline of projects that are shovel ready at Karoshoek Solar Valley, the potential to localize, create jobs and provide business opportunities to new youth and women led SMMEs is colossal and what is required is for government to ensure that CSP remains a part of its energy mix policy and is included in the Draft IRP” said Pancho Ndebele, founder of Emvelo.

The joint venture between SENER, Cobra and Emvelo was appointed by Karoshoek Solar One (RF) Proprietary Limited to provide engineering, procurement and construction services as well as operation and maintenance for the project. The Ilanga-1 CSP plant, made up of 266 SENERtrough® loops, with approximately 870,000 square metres of curved mirrors, is equipped with a molten salt storage system (SENER proprietary technology) that allows 5 hours of thermal energy storage to extend the operational capacity of the plant to continue producing electricity in absence of solar radiation. This is a unique characteristic of CSP that radically changes the role of renewable sources in the global power supply. SENERtrough® collectors, a parabolic trough technology, are also specifically designed and patented by SENER, aimed at improving the efficiency of the plant.

In line with government’s four accords, emanating from the New Growth Path (NGP); namely basic education, skills development, local procurement and the green economy, approximately 1,500 jobs were created during the construction phase. Recently, a technical training course for 50 prospective employees at the plant, located in Karoshoek almost 30km east of Upington, were completed and further local socio-economic development was done by the EPC consortium, in the nearby communities located a stones throw away from the plant. It is estimated that Ilanga-1 will supply clean and dispatchable energy to around 100,000 homes and save 90,000 tons of CO2 per year over a period of 20 years.

Source: SENER

Flexible energy options, such as energy storage, smart-charging electric vehicles, demand response and interconnectors, are needed to ensure that the energy transition proceeds on an optimal path. Our expensive power system would otherwise be reliant on fossil-fueled backup and installing excess wind and solar capacity.

The four types of flexibility mentioned above can accelerate the transition to a cleaner power system and ultimately enable the efficient integration of 80% or more renewable energy by 2040, according to two reports published today by BloombergNEF (BNEF) in partnership with Eaton and Statkraft.

The Flexibility Solutions for High-Renewable Energy Systems reports model a number of alternative scenarios for future power systems in the UK and Germany, respectively, depending on how each flexibility technology might develop in the coming years.

Energy storage and smart electric vehicle charging provide flexibility by moving large volumes of renewable energy to periods of high demand, or moving demand to periods of high renewable generation. Dispatchable demand response reduces the need for fossil-fired backup plants in the power system, reducing emissions. Interconnecting to Nordic hydro can address periods of both excess supply and excess demand, providing different benefits over the decades as the needs of the system evolve.

The two studies – focused on the UK and Germany – highlight that policies and regulation accelerating the adoption of these technologies are key to make a cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient power system possible.

Specific findings for the UK include:

•None of the scenarios halt the transition to a low-carbon power system. In all scenarios, the renewable share of generation exceeds 70% by 2030 as wind and solar become dominant, thanks to their dramatic and ongoing cost improvements. However, without new sources of clean flexibility, the system will be oversized and wasteful, making it 13% more expensive by 2040 and with 36% higher emissions.
•Greater electrification of transport yields major emissions savings with little risk to the power generation system. Avoided fuel emissions far outstrip added power sector emissions. The power generation system will comfortably integrate all these electric vehicles, and the system benefits are even greater if most EVs charge flexibly. However, local distribution networks are likely to face challenges.
•Accelerated energy storage development can hasten the transition to a renewable power system, with significant benefits by 2030 including a 13% emissions reduction and 12% less fossil backup capacity needed.

Specific findings for Germany include:

•In Germany, adding flexibility supports coal through 2030, even as renewables grow to dominate the market. This counterintuitive finding is not due to a problem with batteries, EVs, demand response or interconnectors – cheap coal is the culprit. Flexible technologies are important because they can integrate inflexible generation – and in Germany’s case, its inexpensive lignite plants also benefit. To decarbonize, Germany needs to address existing coal generation while investing in renewables, flexibility and interconnection.
•Still, by 2040, adding more batteries, flexible electric vehicles and interconnections with the Nordics all enable greater renewable penetration and emissions savings. More flexible demand, on the other hand, reduces the need for battery investment.
•Even with coal-heavy power, adding EVs reduces transport emissions.

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The tumbling cost of batteries is set to drive a boom in the installation of energy storage systems around the world in the years from now to 2040, according to the latest annual forecast from research company BloombergNEF (BNEF). The global energy storage market (excluding pumped hydro) will grow to a cumulative 942 GW/2,857 GWh by 2040, attracting $1.2 trillion in investment over the next 22 years. Cheap batteries mean that wind and solar will increasingly be able to run when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

BNEF’s latest Long-Term Energy Storage Outlook sees the capital cost of a utility-scale lithium-ion battery storage system sliding another 52% between 2018 and 2030, on top of the steep declines seen earlier this decade. This will transform the economic case for batteries in both the vehicle and the electricity sector.

BENF has become much more bullish about storage deployments since their last forecast a year ago. This is partly due to faster-than-expected falls in storage system costs, and partly to a greater focus on two emerging applications for the technology – electric vehicle charging, and energy access in remote regions.”

BNEF sees energy storage growing to a point where it is equivalent to 7% of the total installed power capacity globally in 2040. The majority of storage capacity will be utility-scale until the mid-2030s, when behind the meter applications overtake.

Behind-the-meter, or BTM, installations will be sited at business and industrial premises, and at millions of residential properties. For their owners, they will perform a variety of tasks, including shifting grid demand in order to reduce electricity costs, storing excess rooftop solar output, improving power quality and reliability, and earning fees for helping to smooth voltage on the grid.

China, the U.S., India, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, South Korea and the U.K will be the leading countries. These nine markets will represent two thirds of the installed capacity by 2040. In the near-term, South Korea will dominate the market, the U.S. will take over in the early 2020s, but will be overtaken by China in the 2020s. China will then lead throughout to 2040.

Especially developing countries in Africa will also see rapid growth in battery storage. Utilities are likely to “recognize increasingly that isolated assets combining solar, diesel and batteries are cheaper in far flung sites than either an extension of the main grid or a fossil-only generator,” the report says.

BNEF analysis estimates energy storage build across multiple applications to meet variable supply and demand and to operate the grid more efficiently, while taking into account customer-sited economics for using storage as well as system-level needs. Aggregating BTM energy storage could be a viable alternative to utility-scale for many applications but it will take years before regulatory frameworks in some countries fully allow this.

There is significant opportunity for energy storage to provide flexibility – to help balance variable supply and demand – and systems will undoubtedly be used in complex ways. Energy storage will become a practical alternative to new-build generation or network reinforcement.

Despite the rapid growth from today’s levels, demand for batteries for stationary storage will make up only 7% of total battery demand in 2040. It will be dwarfed by the electrical vehicle market, which will more materially impact the supply-demand balance and prices for metals such as lithium and cobalt.

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The consortium formed by the engineering and technology company SENER and SEPCO III has completed the reliability test for the 150-MW Noor Ouarzazate III thermoelectric solar plant. It is one more step in the start-up of the facility, which is nearing commercial operation and final delivery to the client.

With this reliability test, which ran for ten straight days, Noor Ouarzazate III has demonstrated its ability to output its rated power to the grid under changing weather conditions, and even after sunset, thanks to its molten salt storage system, which can continue to produce electricity in the absence of sunlight for 7.5 hours. Over these 10 days, the plant output over 13.2 GWh to the grid. Once operational, the plant will be able to generate enough electricity to power 120,000 homes, with no atmospheric emissions of CO2.

At Noor Ouarzazate III, SENER is responsible for the conceptual and basic engineering of the plant, the detail engineering and for supplying the equipment for the thermal storage system. It is also responsible for the engineering and the construction of the solar field and the molten salt receiver, and for the comprehensive start-up of the plant. This is the second plant with a central tower and molten-salt storage system designed and built by SENER, which also provided its own technology, the 7,400 HE54 heliostats that constitute the solar field, the solar tracking system, the high-power receiver, with more than 600 MW, and the integrated control system for the receiver and the solar field. This plant is one of the first in the world to apply this configuration on a commercial scale.

Noor Ouarzazate III is part of the Noor solar complex, the largest on the planet, located in Ouarzazate (Morocco) and run by MASEN. In the aforementioned megaproject, SENER is part of the turnkey building consortium for the Noor Ourzazate I and Noor Ouarzazate II plants, both of which feature SENERtrough® cylindrical-parabolic trough technology, and Noor Ourzazate III, with advanced innovations with respect to those applied in Gemasolar, a plant designed and built by SENER which was the first in the world in commercial operartion to rely on a central tower receiver and molten salt storage technology.

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