GDES expands its portfolio of energy efficiency services with solar thermal technology applied to industrial processes

  • Grupo Dominguis Energy Services (GDES) has bolstered its strategy in the field of decarbonisation technology after acquiring a stake in the Valencian start-up Solatom.

  • Heat generation accounts for two-thirds of total energy demand in the industrial sector. In Spain alone, the potential installed capacity of solar power for industrial heat demand is 68.2 GW.

Grupo Dominguis Energy Services (GDES) has expanded its portfolio of energy efficiency services through a strategic alliance with the technology startup Solatom. Under this agreement, the Valencia-based business group GDES Efficiency – which specialises in optimising energy resources – will add solar thermal energy to its range of industrial solutions, complementing its photovoltaic systems.

Solatom, headquartered in Valencia, has set the standard in Spain following construction of the world’s largest industrial Fresnel solar thermal power plant at the Heineken Spain facilities in Quart de Poblet (Valencia). The project comprises 6,000 m2 of mirrors and 182 Fresnel modules with a peak output of 3.5 MWth (megawatts thermal), capable of covering 10% of the factory’s steam demand.

Founded in 2016 as a small engineering company, Solatom has participated in several European accelerators. The company patented its own “solar boiler” technology with the aim of developing a renewable alternative to the conventional fossil-fuel boilers currently used in industrial processes. 

The first prototype was assembled in a garage in the town of Oliva and since then their technology has been deployed by multinationals such as Heineken and Unilever. In 2020, the international Mission Innovation platform estimated the long-term emissions reduction potential of Solatom technology at 68 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which positioned it as the number one solution in Spain and sixth in the world in its ranking of innovations to combat climate change.

Solatom uses a technique called CSP (Concentrated Solar Power). This mature, widely tested technology, which Solatom has patented in a modular version for industry, is suitable for high-temperature heat generation.

CSP systems use mirrors to reflect and concentrate light to achieve high temperatures. The Valencia company goes one step further in the use of this technology, with a modular, lightweight, transportable and low-cost design, capable of responding to the high demand for heat in industry today.

Solar heat for industrial processes saves between 35% and 63% of energy consumption.

Solatom’s solar boilers are capable of reaching temperatures of up to 450ºC and 30 bars of pressure and can therefore operate under the same conditions as the conventional boilers used in most factories. Moreover, with a weight of only 25 kg/m2, they can also be installed on lightweight roofs. Heat is generated in the form of steam, thermal oil, water or air, making them a perfect complement to on-site energy systems, saving between 35% and 63% of the energy consumption of conventional boilers.

The generation of solar heat for industrial processes without burning fossil fuels is both a financial saving and an environmental gain. Currently, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 78% of industrial boilers in Spain use fossil fuels.

With this strategic partnership, the Valencia-based group GDES has taken another step forward in its commitment to sustainability, open innovation and the promotion of decarbonisation technologies, all of which are essential for the sustainable energy transition.  

For Héctor Dominguis, President of GDES, this partnership with Solatom will strengthen the strategy of his business group both technologically and strategically, in line with the company’s new purpose and its commitment to providing solutions for a sustainable energy transition. “This new portfolio of solar thermal services will provide solutions to the economic and environmental challenges of our customers, solutions centred on the optimisation, decarbonisation and efficient use of their energy resources”. 

By joining forces with Solatom, GDES will expand its portfolio of services to include the sale of electricity (EPC and PPA), the sale of renewable heat (HPA), in addition to solutions for on-site electricity and heat for industrial processes, complementing the services provided by its industrial energy efficiency firm GDES Efficiency.

This alliance between companies in our region aims to promote innovation and technological development in the Region of Valencia.


More info about GDES Efficiency