22 Jun, 2024 @ 13:00
1 min read

IN PICTURES: New ‘lantern-like’ translucent power plant in Spain will give locals a glimpse into renewable energy production

AN innovative new thermal power plant with a distinctive ‘lantern-like’ shape has emerged from the plains of northern Spain.

Located in Palencia, an Estepona-sized town just north of Valladolid, the 1,960-square-metre building will take the shape of a pill to provide heating to the town’s 80,000 inhabitants.

Residents passing the immediately recognisable landmark, dubbed DH Palencia, will be able to get a glimpse into the heart of the energy-generating process through a translucent ribbed facade.

Welded from steel and plastic, it has been designed to connect the local populace with the new methods of generating power and even educate them on renewable sources of energy.

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It sits atop a huge ‘bathtub of heavy concrete’ which in turn conceals an underground silo which stores biomass from local forests and other renewable sources.

Lauding it as a ‘small cathedral of energy’, Pablo Oriol, the co-founder of architecture studio FRPO wants it to ‘establish a significant connection with the community it serves.’

“Our intention when designing this plant has been to move away from any previous reference to the idea of ??an energy production plant,” Oriol explained.

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“Since the network is invisible because it goes underground, the power plant building had to be responsible for transmitting the qualities of this new way of understanding energy in the city. 

“It was to become a milestone of the energy transition, whose activity is constant, and at night it is illuminated from the inside to become a clean energy lantern.”

Part of the mission of the thermal plant is to symbolise transition from traditional heating technologies, such as natural gas, into cleaner energy.

So keen was FRPO to showcase the inner workings of cleaner heat generation that they even made the tower designed to expel the smoke from the heating system’s filtering process translucent.

Visitors are welcome to come and explore the energy process inside the power plant, where even the interior is designed to make everything transparent.

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? walter@theolivepress.es

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