World’s Largest Solar Plant To Power One Million Homes In U.S.

SolarReserve recently announced its plan to construct the world’s largest solar plant in California, as well as build ten more in the sunny desert state in time.

Credit: SolarReserve

Credit: SolarReserve

It’s said that once trends take off in California, it’s only a matter of time before they ripple out to other states and propel change. Let’s hope this is the case, for SolarReserve recently announced its plan to expand its massive Nevada concentrated solar power (CSP) plant to California with an ultimate aim of generating enough renewable energy to power one million U.S. homes.

According to EcoWatch, the 110 MW Crescent Dune Solar Energy Plant will be the first utility-scale CSP of its kind in America. It will be similar to the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant near Tonopah, Nevada, but will not employ the same technology, as is explained below.

The Energy Plant based in Nevada is actually the first on the planet to utilize molten salt power tower technology in a utility-scale power plant, relays Inhabitat. Every year, it powers 75,000 homes and can operate ‘round-the-clock. Solar heat is utilized to warm a molten salt energy storage system. This, in turn, boils water and creates a steam turbine to power generators 24/7. This is done without any fossil fuel backups or detrimental greenhouse gas emissions.

Credit: SolarReserve

Credit: SolarReserve

In a recent interview with SolarReserve’s CEO, Kevin Smith, it was relayed that the Sandstone project will cost $5 billion, but when completed, will produce between 1,500 and 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy. This is the equivalent used by one million homes. In time, the company strives to build ten more just like it elsewhere in California under a plan dubbed ‘Sandstone’.

Credit: SolarReserve

Credit: SolarReserve

It will take years for this vision to be realized, but the company – as well as investors – are optimistic. After all, the plant will produce enough energy to fully power as many homes as Hoover Dam or even a nuclear power plant. Because negative emissions will be lessened through this project, present and future generations will inevitably benefit.

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