Recently we mentioned the 100-megawatt concentrated solar power plant going up in Abu Dhabi, which was on track to being the largest CSP plant in the world. This shouldnâ€™t come as a surprise, but two companies are joining forces to work on an even bigger project, a CSP plant that will produce 500 megawatts of power in California.
Led by Brightsource and Abengoa, the Palen project will be made up of two 250-megawatt units. At 750 feet each, they will be the tallest solar towers in the world.
The height of the towers is a pretty important factor. Taller towers allow for the use of more heliostats, which maximizes the power potential in each unit. Not only that, but it takes up considerably less land, as much as 33% less than the average photovoltaic solar farm. It will be located in Riverside County, California on federal land marked as a â€œsolar energy zone.â€
Construction will start at the end of the year, once permits are in place and development details are finalized. The plan is to have the plant online by 2016.Â The towers will produce enough electricity for about 200,000 homes, and cut CO2 emissions by 17 million tons over its lifetime.
Half a gigawatt of concentrated solar power. Pretty exciting, especially when itâ€™s highly likely that another project will come along thatâ€™s even bigger. Keep the competition coming.
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