There is nothing quite like a mammoth project that will pique the interest of many, and here we are with BrightSource Energy confirming that the world’s largest solar thermal plant has already been brought to life. Known as the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, it is currently u and running in California, where the entire array also has backers in the form of Google and NRG Energy. Just what kind of capability does the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System have? Well, it is able to produce a total 392MW of power thanks to the massive number of multi-mirror units which amount to 173,500.
Just how much juice is that? It would actually make up 30% of the entire solar thermal energy in the U.S. alone, would be more than adequate to deliver energy to approximately 140,000 households within its vicinity. Of course, there are always two sides to a coin, and with the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System occupying approximately 5.5 square miles worth of mirrors, it spells danger for the various wildlife that live nearby.
This facility has three 450-foot high towers that produce the 392MW of solar power, which will also help avoid 400,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – which is the equivalent of removing a whopping 72,000 vehicles off the road. All 173,500 heliostats will be smart enough to follow the sun’s trajectory, which is why it is so efficient. [Press Release]