Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

World's Largest Solar Thermal Plant Opens For Business

Business
World's Largest Solar Thermal Plant Opens For Business

It's official—the world's largest solar thermal plant has opened for business.

Located in in the Mojave Desert, 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas, near the California-Nevada border, Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has begun generating power from three units, its proprietors announced Thursday. It will generate 392 megawatts for the California grid—enough to power 140,000 homes in the state.

[slideshow_deploy id='351617']

The project is a joint venture between NRG, Google and BrightSource Energy. The project received a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office.

“Cleantech innovations such as Ivanpah are critical to establishing America’s leadership in large-scale, clean-energy technology that will keep our economy globally competitive over the next several decades,” said Tom Doyle, president, NRG Solar. “We see Ivanpah changing the energy landscape by proving that utility-scale solar is not only possible, but incredibly beneficial to both the economy and in how we produce and consume energy."

The solar energy from two of Ivanpah’s units is being sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under two long-term power purchase agreements, while the other unit sells power to Southern California Edison under a similar contract.

"The completion of this world-class project is a watershed moment for solar thermal energy," said David Ramm, chairman and CEO of BrightSource Energy. "With all three units now delivering power to our customers’ specifications, BrightSource has demonstrated its solar power technology at scale.”

A solar plant in India could claim the title for the largest solar array in the world some day, but the businesses behind its plan are depending on the World Bank for at least $500 million of its funding.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The wildfires that roared through Eastern Washington in September had a devastating impact on an extremely endangered species of rabbit.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A protestor in NYC holds up a sign that reads, "November Is Coming" on June 14, 2020 in reference to voting in the 2020 presidential election. Ira L. Black / Corbis / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard

What follows are not candidate endorsements. Rather, this nonpartisan guide aims to inform voters' choices, help journalists decide what races to follow, and explore what the 2020 elections could portend for climate action in the United States in 2021 and beyond.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Activists fight a peat fire in Siberia in September. ALEXANDER NEMENOV / AFP via Getty Images

The wildfires that ignited in the Arctic this year started earlier and emitted more carbon dioxide than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A metapopulation project in South Africa has almost doubled the population of cheetahs in less than nine years. Ken Blum / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Tony Carnie

South Africa is home to around 1,300 of the world's roughly 7,100 remaining cheetahs. It's also the only country in the world with significant cheetah population growth, thanks largely to a nongovernmental conservation project that depends on careful and intensive human management of small, fenced-in cheetah populations. Because most of the reserves are privately funded and properly fenced, the animals benefit from higher levels of security than in the increasingly thinly funded state reserves.

Read More Show Less
A new super enzyme feeds on the type of plastic that water and soda bottles are made of, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). zoff-photo / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Scientists are on the brink of scaling up an enzyme that devours plastic. In the latest breakthrough, the enzyme degraded plastic bottles six times faster than previous research achieved, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch