Gallery: California’s First Molten Salt Solar Energy Project Gets Green...

 

California has just approved a new solar project that could revolutionize how we use energy from the sun – namely because it will be able to keep producing electricity even after night falls. SolarReserve‘s Rice Solar Energy Project will end up looking a lot like the solar thermal tower above but will have a secret weapon hidden underneath – molten salt. Since the salt will be able to reach temperatures over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and retain most of the heat it collects during the day, the plant will have the ability to keep churning out juice long after the sun goes down. It will be the first project in California to use the savory technology to store and distribute energy.

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6 Comments

  1. LSFAtlanta December 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Thank God for American ingenuity and brilliance. Solar Reserve will undoubtedly help to preserve our planet in terms of renewable energy. Go TeamSR!

  2. carbontracking December 20, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Great that CA is catching up ! Same technology got switched on in a 5MW plant in Sicily in summer 2010.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/22/first-molten-salt-solar-power

  3. Pockets December 20, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Correction: the plant pictured above is Solar Two, which in fact was a molten salt power tower built in 1995. The two large silver tanks left of the tower are the storage vessels.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Solar_Project#Solar_Two

    Other than that, go molten salt!

  4. BW December 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    This looks awesome guys. Great idea! I heard this was demo’d smaller scale in the 1990s…..http://www.solarreserve.com/

    Good luck with the widescale implementation!

  5. ddtw224 December 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Wow, if this is as efficient and cost effective as it sounds that would be great. But I guess only time will tell.
    I wonder if/when they’ll come out with more consumer-based availability like the stuff they sell over at Organic Mechanic.com (http://organicmechanic.com/products/solar)? Probably wouldn’t be as affordable would be my guess.

    Thanks for the post!

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