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First New US Solar Thermal Power Plant in 20 Years Approved


The State of California has granted approval for a new solar thermal power plant. The 250-megawatt Beacon Solar Energy Project is the first solar thermal power plant to be licensed in the United States in nearly 20 years. Commercial operation is only best offers levitra usa expected to start by the third quarter of 2011.

Several other solar projects are also in the pipeline and seeking approval by the end of the year, including the Brightsource 400 MW solar tower. More than 4 GW of other solar thermal projects are also pending with the state.

Beacon Solar will be an array of solar focusing parabolic troughs spread over a 2,012 acre site in Kern County, California. The approval process required a solution to local residents' objections to the buy viagra in united kingdom great amount of water the project would require. The final agreement will have the project use recycled water from a nearby community instead of drawing directly from the local aquifer. The project expects to use nearly 1600 acre feet (1.97 million cubic meters) of water annually.

The state of California has mandated that 20% of its electrical power come from renewables by 2010. While it does not look like that target is going to viagra us be met, the approval of several hundred megawatts of solar thermal power will help get the state closer to that goal.

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Comments (5)Add Comment
written by Doc Rings, August 27, 2010
I think it's great that the local voting public got involved to demand that recycled water be used to clean the mirrors instead of using fresh aquifer water. Maybe a bit more expensive, but more "green".

There is new technology for self-cleaning/dusting mirrors that has been developed, but wonder if this will be using that?
The first?
written by Jim, August 28, 2010
I thought that these types of plants were all over the southwest by now. After all of the $$$ spent, we haven't begun construction on any of them? What's taking so long ... bureaucracy?

Retired machine designer
written by Bill Davidson, August 28, 2010
Portugal now gets 40 percent of their electricity
from wind turbines and solar panels. They probably
will be exporting electricity north in a few years.
Yet the Federal Governmentwill still bedoing 'research', anotherword for 'postponing the inevitable and sucking up to big oil'.
That's a bit of water
written by Tem, August 29, 2010
Anybody have a link showing why so much water is needed? Kern county isn't exactly a rainforest. I am curious though, as to how much water is used to produce a barrel of gasoline and how much gasoline is needed to produce the equivalent output as the solar thermal tower. Lastly, can that water be recycled again?
written by shasta, September 15, 2010
Considering the land was used to produce alfalfa, one of the most water intensive plants you can produce in the desert, the amount of water used is tiny. Off the top of my head it would be equal to less than 10 inches of rainfall a year over the area of the site. If it were still used for alfalfa production it would be many times greater.

If they would have used wet cooling, like the project was originally designed, the project would have used 10 times that amount of water. Lets just hope the air cooled condensers will work without too much loss.

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