Mega solar plant uses 170,000 mirrors to generate heat for electricity
Mega solar plant uses 170,000 mirrors to generate heat for electricity. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert. It is located at the base of Clark Mountain in California, across the state line from Primm, Nevada. The plant has a gross capacity of 392 megawatts (MW). It deploys 173,500 heliostats, each with two mirrors focusing solar energy on boilers located on three centralized solar power towers.
A 377 megawatt net solar complex using mirrors to focus the power of the sun on solar receivers atop power towers.
- The electricity generated by all three plants is enough to serve more than 140,000 homes in California during the peak hours of the day.
- The complex will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 400,000 tons per year.
- Located in Ivanpah, approximately 50 miles northwest of Needles, California (about five miles from the California-Nevada border) on federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
- The facility is comprised of three separate plants built in phases between 2010 and 2013, and uses BrightSource Energy’s LPT solar thermal technology.
How It Works
The facility uses more than 170,000 devices called heliostats, each consisting of two mirrors that direct solar energy onto boilers found on the three centralised solar power towers. The boilers then use the sun’s heat to produce steam that drives turbines to generate electricity.
Spread out over 14 square kilometres, the facility can generate enough energy to power 140,000 homes every year. Due to the scale of plants like Ivanpah, solar energy is becoming cheaper and could play a role in helping renewables overtake fossil fuels as the world’s preferred sources of electricity.
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