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The solar power plant that works the night shift

05/10/11 00:03 CET

The world’s first solar power station that can work all through the night has been officially opened near Seville in southern Spain.

More than 2,600 mirrors at the Gemasolar installation concentrate the sun’s rays to create superheated liquid salt during the day, and that retains enough energy to generate power throughout 15 hours of darkness.

Technical director Santiago Arias said “Electricity production is much higher in summer than winter, but of course it’s designed to work all year round.”

It is the biggest solar power station of its type in Europe and is a joint venture between Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

It was formally inaugurated by Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

The plant is designed to produce nearly 20 megawatts of power, enough to supply a city of 100,000 people.

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