|Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System|
An aerial view of the construction of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which is scheduled to be completed in 2013. The project’s three solar fields — occupying 3,600 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management territory — will be able to generate about 392 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 140,000 homes.
The $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah in the Mojave Desert in California will generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes when it is completed sometime in 2013. Nearly 350,000 mirrors on 3,600 acres will reflect light onto boilers. Steam will power turbines, which will generate electricity that flows to California homes. It will be the largest such plant in the world.
BrightSource Energy, one of Ivanpah’s developers, has benefited from a $1.6 billion government loan. It’s expensive harnessing the sun. And the costs go beyond construction. BrightSource says that it has spent more than $56 million relocating desert tortoises. (NY Times)