On September 24th it was announced that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System produced its first output of energy when the Unit 1 station was synchronized to the power grid for the first time. Achieving this critical “first sync” is a major milestone for the project, which is jointly-owned by NRG Energy, Inc., BrightSource Energy, Inc. and Google.
Some Interesting facts:
- Upon completion, Ivanpah will be the largest solar thermal power tower system in the world.
- Electricity from Ivanpah will avoid millions of tons of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants – the equivalent of taking 70,000 cars off the road.
- The project will create more than 2,100 jobs for construction workers and support staff and 86 jobs for operations and maintenance employees in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in local and state taxes.
- Named after the Ivapah Dry lake in where it is located.
The stations Power tower technology includes large Heliostats that track the sun throughout the day,solar field integration software and a solar receiver steam generator. Power generated from Ivanpah’s initial sync testing will go to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which has a power purchase agreement for energy produced out of the plant’s Unit 1 station.
Located in California’s Mojave Desert, Ivanpah is the largest solar thermal plant in the world, spanning 3,500 acres of public land. Once fully operational, the 392 megawatt (377 megawatt net) plant will generate enough electricity to power 140,000 homes annually. Ivanpah’s three power tower units will also nearly double the amount of commercial solar thermal energy capacity now operating in the United States.
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