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  (Source: 4.bp.blogspot.com)
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: so much to clean...
By SPOOFE on 4/13/2011 6:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
There's also probably the implicit assumption that there will be better technology available in 25 years. By placing a supposedly conservative estimate on lifespan they can then establish how much power they'd need to generate in order to Not Lose Money, which probably dictates how large the thing needs to be in order to hit that mark. Anything after 25 years would probably just be icing on the cake.


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