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10 CSP Tower, How Many Can You Recognize?

Reported from CSPPLAZA: As the marvelous demonstration of human wisdom in energy utilization, CSP plant is generally large in size, mostly located in sparsely populated areas with rich sunlight. In addition to the huge benefits it brings, CSP plant also aroused people’s wonders with its majestic shape.

In particular, the tower CSP plants, which is currently developing rapidly, have become landmarks in many places around the world due to its highly technical and fashionable appearance. The world’s first concentrated solar power station that realized 24-hour power generation – Gemasolar Tower CSP Station has also attracted Jessica Minh Anh, a pioneer in the global fashion industry, to hold fashion shows in the power station. In addition, some well-known tower CSP plants have also appeared on the screen for many times.

At present, dozens of tower CSP plant have been built around the world, and they have different appearances due to differences in scale, design and equipment. But for experienced CSP players, they can identify quickly the project from its appearance.

CSPPLAZA reviews ten of the world’s most well-known tower CSP plants. People within CSP industry can try to see how many plants you can recognize with the picture below.


The Crescent Dunes CSP station is located near Tonopah, Nevada, 225 kilometers to northwest of Las Vegas. It is the largest built tower molten CSP plant in the world with a total area of 1,600 acres, 110MW installed capacity, 200 meters tower, 10-hour heat storage system. The total investment of the project is about 1 billion US dollars.

For the first time, the power station successfully verified the feasibility of the tower molten salt technology on the scale of 100 megawatts, and became an important milestone in the history of CSP generation.


The Atacama 1 tower molten salt CSP plant in Chile is the first CSP project in Latin America and covers an area of over 700 hectares. It uses molten salt as heat transfer and heat storage medium, and the heat storage is up to 17.5 hours, which can realize uninterrupted 24 hours power generation. The power station is equipped with 10,600 heliostats, each 140 ㎡ in area.


The NOOR III CSP plant in Morocco has an installed capacity of 150 megawatts and covers an area of 1 million square meters. The single heliostat has a reflection area of 178 ㎡, which is the largest single mirror among the commercial tower CSP plants in the world. A total of 7400 heliostats are installed and reach a total area of 1,317,200 ㎡.

The power station sets a world record not only in the scale of tower CSP plant but also in the height of the tower, 248 meters.


Located in the northern part of the Negev Desert in Israel, the Ashalim1 CSP plant with 250m tower has an installed CSP capacity of 121MW and covers an area of 3.15 square kilometers. It installed 50,000 heliostats, the reflection area reaching 1.05 million square meters. It uses water as working medium without thermal energy storage system. The total capacity can meet 1% of the peak demand for electricity in Israel.


SUPCON 10MW Molten Salt Tower CSP project adopts direct molten salt heat transfer and heat storage technology with 2 hours energy storage system. The project has a light-collecting area of 63,000 square meters. The power station is China’s first large-scale CSP station with energy storage system that has been successfully put into operation. It is also the third tower CSP plant in operation around the world with large-scale energy storage system.


The Gemasolar CSP station in Seville was built in February 2009 and was connected to the grid in April 2011. With an installed capacity of 19.9 MW and 15 hours heat storage system, the designed power generation capacity is 110,000 MWh/yr, which can meet the daily electricity consumption of 27,500 households, and can reduce CO₂ emissions by 30,000 tons per year. It is the first CSP plant to achieve 24-hour uninterrupted power generation in the world and also the world’s first commercial molten salt tower CSP plant.


South Africa’s second commercialized CSP plant ——Khi Solar One, construction of which was officially started in December 2012 has an installed capacity of 50MW. The plant has a tower of 205 meters high and is equipped with 2-hour energy storage system, using steam for heat storage. A total of about 4,160 sets of heliostats were installed, with a total lighting-collecting area of approximately 576,800 square meters.

Khi Solar One belongs to the two projects in the first phase of the South African REIPPPP Plan. The operation of the project also indicates that the first phase of the REIPPPP plan was completed.


Built in 2014, the Ivanpah CSP plant consists of three towers of 133MW, 133MW and 126MW in capacity. The total investment of the project is up to USD 2.2 billion. A total of 175,000 heliostats are used, two sets of mirror arranged on both sides and 350,000 mirrors in total. These mirrors are around three towers which are distributed in three different areas. The control system will direct the heliostats to concentrate the sunlight on the 460 feet tower(about 140 meters).

The maximum installed capacity of a single tower is 133MW, which realizes the first development and large-scale development of 100MW tower CSP station.


Shouhang Dunhuang 10MW CSP Demonstration plant is the third in the world and the first in Asia to achieve 24-hour continuous power generation. It adopts molten salt tower technology with 15 hours energy storage system. Ground was broken in August 2014 and the project was put into operation on December 26, 2016.


Spain’s PS10 tower CSP plant has an installed capacity of 11MW. The project started construction in July 2005, and was put into operation in June 2007. It is the world’s first commercialized tower CSP plant.

The tower CSP station developed by Abengoa Solar uses water as working medium with a site area of 55 hectares. The project is equipped with a 1-hour steam storage system. The project has a 115m collector tower and a total lighting-collecting area of 75,000m ².

Spain’s PS20 CSP station has an installed capacity of 20MW, which is twice the installed capacity of the PS10 CSP station. The height of the power station tower is 165m, and a total of 1255 heliostats are installed. Though it adopts the same technical route as the PS10, the PS20 CSP plant is more advanced in receiver, control system and thermal energy storage system and other key components.

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