Skip to comments.This is what the world's largest solar plant looks like when it's catching rays
Posted on 02/13/2014 7:54:04 PM PST by ckilmer
A massive solar plant in the Mojave Desert officially began operation today after years of construction, testing, and development. Co-owned by NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy, and Google, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is said to be ready to generate nearly 30 percent of all solar thermal energy produced in the United States. The plant consists of three 459-foot tall towers each with tens of thousands of robotic, garage-door sized mirrors that angle sunlight toward a water boiler sitting atop them.
NRG says that the nearly 5.5-square-mile plant is the largest solar project of its type in the world, and that it will be able to provide clean energy to 140,000 neighboring California homes. But though its owners see Ivanpah as a beacon for clean energy sources, the plant has not been without its controversies. The Wall Street Journal reports that its more than 300,000 mirrors have been scorching birds that fly through their path, and the Associated Press reports that local protected tortoises had to be relocated during the plant's construction.
While regulators are continuing to look into the plant's environmental impact, it's still a big moment for clean energy in California. "At Google we invest in innovative renewable energy projects that have the potential to transform the energy landscape and help provide more clean power to businesses and homes around the world," Rick Needham, Google's director of energy and sustainability, says in a statement. "Ivanpah is a shining example of such a project and we're delighted to be a part of it."
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All generators which use super heated steam need condensers but you can use air cooled condensers.The tech has improved a lot recently. They look like this.
In the first and third pictures above you can see the green trailor-looking buildings with the pipes running into/out of them.
Those are the condensers that help cool/recirculate the water.
And the reflective radiation is having what effect on the environment??
We aren’t allowed to ask common sense question about items in the political correctness portfolio, are we??
Where are the pics of the birds being fried in flight?
bleeech.... 140,000 households??? As usual California throws good money after bad.
No doubt the bullet train will have a stop at this location
Chilled water ?
This will cause global warming to melt the icecaps
Also, how much pollution was created by manufacturing all the metals and other things in the project, and how many centuries will this “green” plant have to operate to offset that?
Is this why California has no water, is it all boiled away ?
What a butt-ugly eyesore. It’s almost as bad as the windmills.
Who has the window cleaning concession?
Where did they put the coal-fired plant that will power these “140,000 homes” when it is cloudy? Or do they just intend to use diesel-fueled peaker plants for that?
Just to think! The wacko environmentalist banned motorcycles from this area just so they could have this giant bird broaster. It really preserved the unspoiled view, didn’t it?
I wonder what the pilots think about having to fly
over that, could be blinding at the right angle and
time of day.
Wait, maybe they are only allowed to fly over it at
Endangered birds and migratory fowl are just collateral damage. the Liberal agenda is all that matters.
Libs only give a damn about “Endangered” animals when they can line their pockets with cash by suing the government on behalf of the “Endangered”.
Solar strip mining.
The caption on that next to last one should be...
“Yes Sir, your table is ready, sit where you like”.
Where are the pics of the bribes to politicians?
The birds are probably some of John McCain’s “wacko birds” anyway!
The video is only 22 seconds long, but it's pretty clear.
Libs treat animals like people. Nothing has been more harmful to the poor than Liberalism.
Speaking of night, what do those 140,000 homes do after dark when their power goes out? Man, we are dumb!
Jobs program for 10,000 unskilled illegals with buckets and wash rags. At $10.10 per hour.
I see gallons of Windex....
That is not merely a good question, it is THE crucial question.
How much labor/cost does it take before reduced efficiency outweighs the cost of cleaning?
How often will this cleaning be necessary?
How often will the mirrors need to be replaced?
I love it drove by a few times just don’t look at the collector it is real bright
ROFL. I was JUST there!
Let’s have a little math fun. One gargantuan solar plant will provide power for 140,000 people houses (not businesses or manufacturers) for 2 thirds of a day (the other third is night) which covers approximately 5 square miles. So for the West Coast’s (just Ca, Or & Wa) approximate population of 56 million it would take 400 of these installations and approximately 2,000 square miles to provide the electric for 2 thirds of a day for the West Coast.
Now, about cost ........
Bright Lights, Dim Idea
What is that in megawatts?
Or dumb questions.
Reflecting and concentrating solar energy does not, and cannot "create or destroy" energy or heat. It can only redistribute the normal heating-cooling cycle.
If the mirrors weren't there, the heat exchange would still be there, albeit at a different rate. Net change, zero.
Years back, I read an article by a University of Ottawa prof about the reflective cooling effect of ultra-large solar arrays.
It ran very counter to the political correctness gobblygook about solar energy.
Nope. It still looks like an inefficient waste of money...
Only a couple billion dollars for a 10% capacity eyesore. Only in government. As long as treehuggers sleep good though. That’s what’s important.
I thought plants like this used a sodium compound that liquified at high temp and flowed to heat exchangers to make the steam. The sodium can get so hot, retain its heat and with a large enough volume of sodium, store enough energy to create power thru the night.
Of course, that’s the focal spot being lit up by the mirrors. It’s desgined to absorb the light focused on it, but it probably only absorbs about 95% ( my guess. ) Note the mirrors are dark, since none of them reflects light towards the plane.
That’s not a light plane if I were guessing. Passenger in a commercial jet. He is 20 thousand feet high if he;s a foot. No matter, the point is the same.
It could probably be re-purposed as a pretty impressive telescope.
Good call. I think you're right. He's way up there.
I know. That occurred to me too. It's nearly as bright as an arc welder, but the surface that's reflecting it is basically black. That's a bodacious amount of light, bro.
And this power plant will pay for itself in....what? A million years?
What a crock of Libtard diaper-fillings.
At night you could probably see it from downtown LA!
Okay guys — you’ve had your rest — here it comes again — just like yesterday — all together now focus — focus — focus — you guys over on the right what are you looking at — c’mon focus — focus — focus — awwww dam birds.
And what is the costs of electricity to the consumer compared to carbon based energy?