Saturday, August 7, 2010

Giant Ivanpah

California's Mojave Desert just turned up the heat. US DoE had approved a $1.37B loan guarantee to BrightSource Energy for the construction of the 392-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. The plan is to build next to a flat, dry, ancient lakebed about 4.5 miles from the gambling resort of Primm, Nev.

This massive solar thermal facility has been recommended for approval by the California Energy Commission. Reportedly, it will generate enough electricity to power 140,000 homes. This massive collection of mirrors, each measured at 7 feet by 10.5 feet, form a circular pattern totaling over 300,000. At its core are power towers, where the mirrors on the arrays reflect the sun's energy to a dedicated tower. This iconic tower boils water to steam that travels through long pipes to provide power to a turbine. See the video showcasing BrightSource Energy's research work in Israel's Negev Desert.

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