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World’s largest solar thermal plant 92% complete

The world’s largest solar thermal power plant is almost complete, according to this month’s project update.

Over 153,990 of the project’s total 173,500 heliostats (mirrors that reflect sunlight onto the receiver) have been installed at the site located in Ivanpah Dry Lake, California, bringing the project to 92 percent completion.

Credit: Brightsource Energy

Credit: Brightsource Energy

The $2.2 billion system is owned by NRG Energy, Google, and BrightSource Energy, and will power over 140,000 homes with 377 MW of energy. The clean electricity produced will be equivalent to taking 70,000 cars off the road.

It is made up of three units, which have fields of heliostats that direct the sun’s radiation to receivers atop towers. The heat energy then boils water to power a conventional steam turbine. All up, the three-unit power system covers around 3,500 acres of public desert land.

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