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Solar power, 24 hours a day

Bloomberg reports that Torresol Energy SA is operating a solar plant that uses molten salt to store excess solar heat received during the day, and thereby provide continuous power generation throughout the night. The Germasolar plant is located in southern Spain, and “can produce electrical power 24 hours a day for many months of the year.”

This is pretty cool!

Technological advances like this are what make renewable energy so intriguing. Renewables are swiftly becoming more efficient, more reliable, and more powerful.

According to Torresol, the plant will generate 1.5 to 3 times more electricity than other renewable sources, providing power to approximately 25,000 homes. And since the plant can operate continuously for a good part of the year, those 25,000 homes won’t have the high backup generation costs that other renewable installations have.

Even the plant footprint is not that big, all things considered: only 185 hectares, which translates to about .7 square miles or 457 acres (for those who like me have little real understanding of how big a hectare really is).