Building World’s Largest Solar Tower Power Plant in CA


World's Largest Solar Power Plant

Concentrating solar power companies Abengoa and BrightSource Energy will soon team up to build the world’s largest solar tower facility in Southern California. The new solar development will be located on federal land, and it’s being facilitated by the Bureau of Land Management. The 500-megawatt Palen Solar Electric Generating System will create 2,000 new construction jobs, and it will produce enough electricity to power 200,000 households. The project was unveiled just hours after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved 900 MW of solar development in California. Construction is expected to begin at the end of 2013 and the solar plants are expected to come online in 2016.

Solar towers generate power by creating steam that is used to turn a turbine. It’s very similar to the systems found in traditional fossil fuel or nuclear power plants, the only difference being that they use the sun’s energy to create steam and produce no emissions. The new development will consist of two 250 MW units in Riverside County, California. Over its lifecycle, the plant is expected to prevent the emission of about 17 million tons of CO2.

via Inhabitat