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Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will be world's largest solar power tower plant

Google announced yesterday that it has invested a large sum of money into a new solar energy power tower plant that will be located in the Mojave Desert in California. 

Google is catching a lot of heat lately between the FTC's possible antitrust investigation into the web search giant's internet dominance and Microsoft's problem with Google's "misleading security claims to the government." But with this latest project, Google is investing in a project that is sure to have some positive reviews.

The project is the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS), and Google has invested $168 million toward the cause. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which is being developed by BrightSource Energy, is 450 feet tall and began construction in October 2010 by the engineering firm Bechtel. It will be the world's largest solar power tower plant. 

"We need smart capital to transform our energy sector and build a clean energy future," said The Official Google Blog. "This is our largest investment to date, and we've now invested over $250 million in the clean energy sector [total]. We're excited about Ivanpah because our investment will help deploy a compelling solar energy technology that provides reliable clean energy, with the potential to significantly reduce costs on future projects."

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is expected to generate 392 gross megawatts of solar energy, and will have a lifespan of about 25 years. This amount of solar energy produced is like taking 90,000 cars of the road over the plant's lifetime.  

This new system works by using 173,000 heliostats, which are mirrors that focus the sun's rays onto a solar receiver, which is located at the top of a tower. These mirrors pack a large amount of solar energy into one small area. The solar receiver then generates steam that spins a turbine and generator to create electricity. The steam is produced at high pressure and a high temperature of up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.  

The project is expected to be completed in 2013, and will be funded by clean energy technology guarantees offered by the U.S. Department of Energy and by NRG. 

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RE: Clean Energy rather than just "Green"
By phantom505 on 4/13/2011 7:37:37 AM , Rating: -1
I love how ethanol got a bad rap in (right) wing nut world. There's several different ways to make it using switch grass which grows faster and readily in the "corn belt". My guess is as soon as demand for ethanol the land currently used to make excessive amounts of corn will change to grasses.

Additionally if properly tuned and different soft materials are used the "octane" rating of E85 is something like 108. The biggest problem is cold starting, which there has been many developments recently that improve that. People on this site haven't even given it a chance to develop and mature. There are many solutions, and this is just one.

One of the dumbest comments I've read lately is how much diesel it would take to make ethanol.... unless you happen to change your farm engines to ethanol, right? Oh and would you guess that most of the farming equipment in Indiana probably runs off K1 or K2?

I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's at least it is a step in the right direction of using a renewable source rather than trying to continue using a fuel that WILL eventually run low and cause economic problems. I know, it hurts your brains to think that "green" or "clean" or anything of the like also means "security", but it does.

There isn't even a supply problem and oil and gas is running how much today?

By FITCamaro on 4/13/2011 8:49:41 AM , Rating: 1
Yes ethanol can be made from other things. But the government isn't pushing that. They're content making it from corn because of the massive subsidies to corn farmers.

E85s main problem is how corrosive it is and the fact that ethanol evaporates.

A far better idea is developing diesel produced from algae to be ready for mass production. A far better fuel and it doesn't involve raising food prices. Even if corn farmers switch from grass to corn, food prices still go up.

The insanity in all this is that some farmers are still being paid NOT to grow corn!

By SPOOFE on 4/13/2011 6:14:10 PM , Rating: 1
at least it is a step in the right direction

False promises and incompetent execution is a step in the right direction? Jeez, I'd be scared to see what a step in the wrong direction looks like. Ethanol made out of babies, perhaps?

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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