INTRODUCTION The first solar power station to supply electricity to the French national grid has been inaugurated at Odeillo, in the eastern Pyrenees.
GV Pyrenees with solar energy power station
GV PAN FROM Panel reflectors to concave mirror and photo-electric cell (2 shots)
GV TILT SHOT Concave mirror
GP PAN FROM Mirror TO technicians walking around power house
GV Mirror with power plant in foreground
The solar dream in France began when the late President, George Pompidou, attempted to establish a European response to the Arab oil embargo in 1973. Power stations similar to the plant in Odeillo have been built in a number of countries throughout the world, notably in Japan. Recently American experts visited Odeillo with the intention of experimenting with a boiler for their future solar power stations. In Great Britain also recent research completed by Commercial Solar Energy and Leeds University proved that solar energy can be used in the country throughout the year and in any weather.
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Background: INTRODUCTION The first solar power station to supply electricity to the French national grid has been inaugurated at Odeillo, in the eastern Pyrenees. Soon after the inauguration on Tuesday (25 January) a break in he clouds made it possible for the power station to generate enough steam to produce 380 volts of electricity.
SYNOPSIS: The station is experimental and designed to show that it is possible to produce electric current industrially from the heat of the sun. Its capacity is modest, only 64 kilowatts. But Odeillo is serving as the model for a power plant ten times its size.
It is being designed by a consortium of private and nationalised firms including Renault. France hopes to start exporting this model to Arab countries in five years time.
The station at Odeillo is of the "tower" type. The boiler is located on the top of the tower, and plain or parabolic mirrors concentrate the sun's rays on it. Different mirrors which can follow the sun on its course are also being studied.
The rate of sunshine in Odeillo is the highest in the country.