Ivanpah:Clean Renewable Energy on Schedule

Heliostats lifted onto pylons.
40 miles west of Las Vegas, a wager of $2.2 billion rests upon the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS).

Midway through its Mojave Desert construction, the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant project remains on schedule.

By September 2013, Californians will receive 370 MW of the CSP’s first clean renewable energy,

According to the US Department of Energy, since construction began in 2010, 2100 construction workers erected three steel towers and more than 10,000 steel pylons with close to 50,000 heliostats. Eventually, over 170,000 heliostats will convert captured solar power into steam to drive conventional steam power generators.

As part of the Obama Administration’s Sun Shot Initiative, the Ivanpah project has brought together solar energy industry experts from the public and private sectors. A goal of the Initiative’s is a 75% reduction of the installed cost of solar energy systems.

BrightSource is the ISEGS project developer. Minimizing its constructional impact in the natural desert environs has been an important consideration before the firm won the contract.

Flexible heliostats allow builders to avoid native plantings and line natural contours. An air-cooling system is closed-looped by taking the naturally produced steam and converting it into water. Unlike previously used technology the BrightSource air cooler reducing the water usage by over 90%.

When fully operational, close to 150,000 California homes and businesses will receive the clean and renewable electricity produced by the ISEGS.

Renewable energy projects, like Ivanpah, are heralded as investments to the US’s quest for cheap power and the securement of future jobs.

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