Nevada solar installation pushes forward

Thursday, May 31, 2012 @ 10:05 AM
posted by rene5432

In the middle of the Nevada desert, a 600-foot concrete shaft has been erected that towers above the surrounding landscape and will one day provide enough renewable energy to power some 75,000 area homes, Smart Grid News reports.

According to the news source, the $1 billion project was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and is being constructed by California-based SolarReserve. The installation, titled the Crescent Dunes Project, will use concentrated solar power in conjunction with thermal energy storage.

"Throughout the field around here, that will be in the order of 10,000 heliostats. They will concentrate the sun onto the top of the tower," SolarReserve construction manager Brian Painter said. "For all intents and purposes, this plant is a regular power plant. The steam cycle is the same as any power plant out there. The only difference is, our energy source is the sun."

The 110-megawatt tower is located outside Tonopah. When completed, the plant will provide 500,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy every year, which will be sold to Nevada Energy in a 25-year purchase agreement. The construction, which began in September 2011, will be completed in late 2013. 

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