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Ivanpah – solar thermal sets record in the desert

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According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), America has doubled the amount of energy produced using solar technologies over the last five years. Last week, a massive new solar resource was dedicated in southern California. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is the largest concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in the world. Furthermore, with its 173,500 mirrors, three solar power towers, and total generating capacity of 392 megawatts (MW), this facility can supply enough power to meet the demand of approximately 94,400 American homes.

Ivanpah's construction was supported by $1.6 billion in investments in DOE's loan program funding and most of the power that it generates will be sold under power purchase agreements to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison Company.

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images for Bechtel via the U.S. Department of Energy.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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