ARCOS COMBINED CYCLE POWER PLANT TO HOUSE A MICROALGAE CULTIVATION PLANT DEVELOPED BY ALGAENERGY
The project was presented to the local and provincial authorities in Arcos de la Frontera
- The project, which also includes the participation of the company Exeleria, the Universities of Seville and Almería, the Andalusian Energy Agency and the Madrid Network, will require an initial investment of €3 million
- The plant, which will occupy a surface area of 10,000 square metres, will consume over 200 tonnes of CO2 per year and the company expects the first stage to be operational by the end of 2012
The company Algaenergy and IBERDROLA will be commissioning a demonstration plant for the cultivation of microalgae on an industrial scale at the combined cycle power plant in Arcos de la Frontera. The plant will employ CO2
fixation technology and the biomass obtained from the process will also be used. Other participants in this initiative are the engineering firm Exeleria, the Universities of Seville and Almería, the Andalusian Energy Agency and the Madrid Network Biotechnology Cluster.
Construction is expected to commence on the plant in early 2012 and the initial surface area will be 10,000 square metres. The budget allocated to the project amounts to €3 million and the first stage is expected to be complete by the end of 2012. All stages in the facility are expected to be operational before the last quarter of 2013.
The weather conditions were a decisive factor in choosing Andalusia, and more specifically the municipality of Arcos de la Frontera, as the location for this plant. The area enjoys high solar radiation and moderate average temperatures. Other important factors were the community's interest in renewable energies and the excellent international reputation of the research groups in this field of science and knowledge in the Andalusian universities.
This R&D project, called CO2Algaefix, is part of the LIFE+ programme run by the Directorate-General of the Environment in the European Union, of which one of the aims is to obtain renewable biofuels, including biogas.
Moreover, the 100,000+ kg/year of biomass that will be obtained during the process from the microalgae strains may also be of interest and use for sectors such as fish-farming, cosmetics, healthcare, foodstuffs for human or animal consumption or agricultural fertilisers.
that is needed for the process will be captured straight from that which is produced by generator III at Arcos power plant in the gas combustion process and the water that will be used in the cultivation will come from the recycling plant at the facility. Therefore, thanks to the technology that will be on display for the first time and on a huge scale at the plant, mostly based on flat vertical reactors and other innovative systems that have been designed/ perfected by AlgaEnergy, the CO2
fixation capacity could exceed 200 tonnes per year.
IBERDROLA is the leading Spanish energy group, one of the world's major utilities in terms of stock market capitalisation and the world leader in wind energy. The Company considers R&D&i to be a strategic pillar in its activity in order to be able to face the challenges in the energy sector with guarantees and has allocated over € 220 million to this area in the last two years. IBERDROLA has an open innovation model that focuses on collaboration with companies, universities, technology centres or public institutions, to pool knowledge and detect and meet social needs. The company's main initiatives include the Innovation Network, a forum with technological collaborators to promote new ideas; various Chairs in universities, to promote research and training, and the Perseo capital fund, which ensures that the company has access to the energy technologies of the future. IBERDROLA holds an interest in the capital of Algaenergy through the Perseo fund.
Algaenergy is a scientific-technological company that was founded in 2007. It is now an international benchmark in the field of biotechnology with microalgae because it has drawn attention to the huge talent existing in Spain in this area of science and knowledge. Algaenergy is focused on continuous improvement of biological and industrial production processes involving microalgae, from which new products, including energy products, may be obtained, with a view to ensuring their marketability and profitability. Some of the main projects being carried out by AlgaEnergy at the moment include CENIT VIDA, CO2BIOCAP, ECLIPSE and CO2ALGAEFIX.