Erlangen, Germany, Siemens Energy is increasing its stake in the solar thermal specialist Archimede Solar Energy Srl from 28 to 45 percent effective May 1, 2010. The two companies did not disclose the purchase price of the shares. Archimede is a joint venture between Angelantoni Industries Spa and Siemens. The objective of the investment is to accelerate the setup of solar receiver production in Massa Martana, Umbria. Starting in early 2011, the plant will have an annual production capacity of approximately 75,000 solar receivers. In a second step the plant’s capacity is to be increased to 140,000 per year.
“With the increase of our shares in Archimede we are further strengthening our cooperation with Angelantoni Industries,” said René Umlauft, CEO of the Siemens’ Renewable Energy Division. “Siemens already has the most comprehensive portfolio in the promising concentrated solar power business. We can provide about 70 percent of the components of a solar thermal power plant from a single source. If required, we can even supply complete solutions. The solar receivers of Archimede Solar Energy use molten salt as the heat transfer medium. This is a very promising technological option for solar thermal power plants and an ideal addition to our existing portfolio.”
A first commercial plant is currently under construction in Sicily. The Priolo Gargallo project will use 1500 solar receivers with molten salt as the heat transfer medium and is expected to go operational in summer 2010. The use of molten salt in the receivers can significantly increase the efficiency of solar thermal power plants.
This share increase is part of Siemens’ strategy to successively expand its portfolio in the growth market for solar thermal energy. Siemens has long been supplying vital components for solar thermal power plants in the form of steam turbines, electrical and I&C systems and cooling systems. With the highly-promising molten-salt receiver technology from Archimede Solar, and the proven thermal-oil-based receiver technology from Siemens Concentrated Solar Power Ltd. (formerly Solel Solar Systems), Siemens is now a supplier of a complete range of products for the solar thermal power industry.
“We intend to expand upon the success we now enjoy with our wind energy business to take in the solar power market and become the leading provider of solar thermal power plants. This is why we offer our customers on this market key technologies from a single source”, explains René Umlauft. Siemens estimates that the solar thermal power plant market will experience double digit annual growth up to 2015, reaching a volume of more than ten billion Euros.
Components and solutions for solar thermal power plants are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2009, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about EUR 23 billion, making Siemens the world’s largest supplier of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, the company’s products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by 210 million tons. This amount equals the combined annual CO2 emissions of New York, Tokyo, London and Berlin.