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  • @OP link – The World’s Largest Solar Plant Started Creating Electricity Today – Attila Nagy – 2/13/14

    The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is now operational and delivering solar electricity to California customers.
    At full capacity, the facility’s trio of 450-foot high towers produces a gross total of 392 megawatts (MW) of solar power, enough electricity to provide 140,000 California homes with clean energy and avoid 400,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, equal to removing 72,000 vehicles off the road.

    There is a long history of development in the Mojave Desert.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_plants_in_the_Mojave_Desert

    Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is the name given to nine solar power plants in the Mojave Desert which were built in the 1980s, the first commercial solar plant. These plants have a combined capacity of 354 megawatts (MW) which made them the largest solar power installation in the world, until Ivanpah Solar Power Facility was finished in 2014.

    Solar power towers use thousands of individual sun-tracking mirrors (called heliostats) to reflect solar energy onto a central receiver located on top of a tall tower.[8] The receiver collects the sun’s heat in a heat-transfer fluid that flows through the receiver. The U.S. Department of Energy, with a consortium of utilities and industry, built the first two large-scale, demonstration solar power towers in the desert near Barstow, California.[5]

    Solar One operated successfully from 1982 to 1988, proving that solar power towers work efficiently to produce utility-scale power from sunlight. The Solar One plant used water/steam as the heat-transfer fluid in the receiver; this presented several problems in terms of storage and continuous turbine operation. To address these problems, Solar One was upgraded to Solar Two, which operated from 1996 to 1999. Both systems had a 10 MW power capacity.[5]

    The unique feature of Solar Two was its use of molten salt to capture and store the sun’s heat. The very hot salt was stored and used when needed to produce steam to drive a turbine/generator that produces electricity. The system operated smoothly through intermittent clouds and continued generating electricity long into the night.[9] Solar Two was decommissioned in 1999,

    In desert areas these solar thermal plants have great potential to produce electricity, day and night, with a very low carbon footprint.



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