Solar energy has a dark side. Those gargantuan plants that sprawl out like deconstructed disco balls sacrifice valuable open space and put wildlife, and possibly human lives, at risk. A new study by Stanford researchers says that focusing our solar energy efforts in already-developed urban areas could yield more…
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has a problem. The myriad mirrors that reflect the sun's searing rays onto towers that generate electricity also create a death ray that fries anything in its path, namely poor innocent birds flying through the desert. But don't worry. They're working on it.
We probably should have seen this coming. At the Ivanpah solar power plant near Las Vegas, a massive glittering field of 170,000 garage door-sized mirrors reflects sunlight. And all those mirrors are making flying near Ivanpah not so fun—or safe.
Take 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors, each 7 feet high and 10 feet wide. Control them with computers to focus the Sun's light to the top of 459-foot towers, where water is turned into steam to power turbines. Bingo: you have the world's biggest solar power plant, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.
After three years and $2.2 billion of construction, California has just flipped the switch for the planet's largest solar thermal plant—the 392 megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.
Sometime in the next few months, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will flip the switch on the largest solar plant of its kind in the world: A 377-megawatt, 3,500-acre solar thermal energy system. It's located in California's Mojave Desert near the Nevada border and it's ridiculously big. I would suggest…
As nuclear power continues to fall out of favor, California is making big investments in alternative energy sources to meet rising demand. One of its most ambitious projects will use the Mojave sun to power over a quarter million homes.