World’s Largest Solar Plant Officially Open for Business

Worlds largest solar plant

Stretched across the entirety of five square miles in the Mojave Desert near the Nevada-California border lies the world’s largest solar plant — and today it has officially opened it’s doors for commercial business. Ivanpah, a collaborative effort between Google, BrightSource Energy, and NRG, has been a project in the works since it was first connected to the power grid in September of last year.

From the NGR Press Release:

Ivanpah, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of all solar thermal energy currently operational in the US, is the largest solar project of its kind in the world. The project is the first to use BrightSource’s innovative solar power tower technology to produce electricity, which includes 173,500 heliostats that follow the sun’s trajectory, solar field integration software and a solar receiver steam generator. Since breaking ground inOctober 2010, the project has created thousands of jobs and, at the peak of construction, employed nearly 3,000 site workers who completed more than 8.35 million man-hours. A total of approximately $650 million in salaries for construction and operations is expected to be paid over the next 30 years.

Check out some of the pictures from the BrightSource website:

The $2.2 billion operation was estimated at bringing in around 1,000 jobs during construction, 86 permanent jobs, with $3 billion as the total economic benefit. Ivanpah is set to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400,000+ tons per year and will cause little to no harm to its surrounding area.

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