Operating from California’s Mojave Desert about an hour south of Las Vegas, the largest solar plant of its kinds is about to power 140,000 homes. This historic renewable project will also contribute to the state’s goals of renewable energy powering of a third of its grid by 2020.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System uses 200,000 mirrors instead of typical solar panels to power the solar tower. All the heat generated-about a thousand degrees of it-heats a boiler on top of the tower into steam. That steam then generates electricity through a turbine.
The construction of this farm experienced several setbacks with a complicated process of permits from various agencies. Other desert states including Nevada and Arizona are now working on similar projects.