Gallery: Ivanpah: The World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant Passes First ...


The world’s largest solar thermal plant, Ivanpah, reached a major milestone this month as it achieved its first “flux”. Over 1000 heliostats (plane mirrors that reflect sunlight towards a predetermined target) focused on to the plant’s solar receiver and heated water inside a boiler to below the point of steam generation, proving the plant is ready to enter commercial operation. Located in Ivanpah Dry Lake, California, the solar thermal power plant is expected to offset millions of tons of carbon emission.

The 377 MW Ivanpah project is owned by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy and is being constructed by Bechtel Corporation. The plant uses more than 300,000 mirrors to direct the sun’s energy toward three centrally positioned towers and produces enough electricity to power 140,000 U.S. homes. Ivanpah’s Unit 1 is nearly 90 percent complete, while Units 2 and 3 are more than 70 percent complete, according to the project’s official site.

The next phase of the project will include testing steam pressure and placing additional flux on the boilers. In preparation for the official start of operation, the team will test the system by running steam through the pipes which will clear any debris and prevent eventual damages of the steam turbines, said Gil Kroyzer, VP Modeling & Solar Field Design, BrightSource Energy, the technology provider for the project.

+ Ivanpah Project

Via CleanTechnica

Photos from BrightSource Energy Flickr Page


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  1. Mark Scheel August 18, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Yes, isn’t this wonderful. Power with no adverse aide effects. While your sitting there maybe you should look up the term “streamers” as it relates to this project. Nothing is free, but who gives a rat’s ass about a few hundred thousand birds, anyway. Right?

  2. pmanke May 2, 2014 at 11:07 am

    This is very interesting. It will be an inroad to saving thermal power for offsetting generation for evening peak loads, something PV is yet unable to do.

  3. Brett Chandler March 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I’m very encouraged to see this technology finally see the, um, light of day in North America. I know this has seen use commercially in Europe and Australia.

    I vividly remember seeing an artists conception of this on the cover of Popular Science back in the mid-70s, and it’s criminal that it’s taken this long to reach the commercial phase.

  4. ashok kundapur March 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Wonderful, very best wishes for an early and successful operation.
    Would be interested in total cost of installation, PLF and also price at which the power would be sold

  5. yolanda tamez March 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    This is the kind of technology that I love to read about the wave of the future…clean energy…

  6. injusticehere March 5, 2013 at 9:07 am

    “Mirror mirror on the wall who is the most efficient of them all? and why not Nuclear Fission reactors with the slight hiccup of waste fuel contaminating the earth as we speak?”

    Mirror of truth: the Sun is the most efficient energy source of them all, by melting cheap endless earth salt.

    BUT! but the technology cant be monopolized by like Nuclear Fission which creates everlasting Nuke waste to poison the earth. Therefore the greed of the NWO will always tell you Fission is needed to save the earth when its the complete opposite. Sun, Salt and mirrors period now wipe my surface so i can reflect some rays of light into this room instead of your Sheepish face! :)

  7. Randy Van Nostrand March 5, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Complex but doable. I can’t wait to see this project bear fruit.

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