Sunday, November 14, 2010

Solar Energy goes BIG


Solar Energy Plants
go B I G

US Desert Solar Boom

The U.S. government has approved plans for what is perhaps the world's largest solar power plant in Blythe in Southern California.  At the centre of the proposal is a German company called Solar Millennium AG.

The generating capacity of the proposed plant is hefty 1000 megawatts - that is really big for a solar project and is the kind of power one would associate with a large coal burning plant.

Small Solar Concentrating Plant at SanlĂșcar la Mayor near Seville

The plant will use a system of mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays to super heat a fluid that in turn will create steam to drive the turbines. There are a total of nine solar plants in the pipeline in the US. It is not clear from the reports if the proposed engineering includes some degree of heat storage, (of the superheated fluid),  which would be most useful in a solar facility.

South Africa goes Mega size Solar

Meanwhile, South Africa is winding up their spin doctoring machines in the hope of getting the investments for a truly massive 5,000 MegsWatt solar facility at Upington in the Kalahari. If this gets off the ground the plant would account for over 12% of the energy need of the country.

Keep an eye on China and the Far East. These guys will be pushing the solar boundaries in the coming years.


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