Giant solar thermal power plant in the desert

After 7 years of construction, on June 8, the first solar thermal power plant in Latin America completed construction on an area of ​​more than 700 hectares.


Cerro Dominado is the first solar thermal power plant in Latin America. Photo: Cerro Dominador/Twitter.

The Cerro Dominado factory consists of 10,600 heliostat glass panels located in a giant circle with the task of reflecting sunlight to a collector installed on the top of the 250 m high tower in the center.

The molten salt in the collector absorbs heat, then uses this concentrated heat to heat the water. The generated steam rotates the turbine to generate electricity. Combined with an adjacent photovoltaic plant, the Cerro Dominador complex is capable of producing 210 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to meet the needs of 250,000 households.

“This allows us to reduce more than 600,000 tons of greenhouse gas CO2 per year. That is equivalent to the emissions from 300,000 cars in a year,” Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said in a statement.

Another advantage of the plant is that the molten salt can store energy for up to 17.5 hours, allowing the system to continue operating without direct sunlight, or in other words, it can operates 24 hours a day.

Cerro Dominado can produce electricity day and night. Photo: AFP .

The Cerro Dominador project was built in 2014 in the middle of the arid Atacama desert, which is more than 3,000 meters above sea level. The building is symbolic of Chile’s ambitious energy transition goals, as the country pledges to be carbon neutral by 2050.

President Sebastian Pinera added that more clean energy projects will come into operation in Chile in 2021. This includes the electrification of public transport, replacing carbon-based energy. by green solutions and expanding forests to absorb CO2.

Doan Duong (According to AFP )