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Large-Scale Solar Collectors

Just as there are huge wind farms now providing backup power for conventional
electricity generation, central solar power towers will likely do the same in
the future.  The facilities generate electric power from sunlight by focusing
concentrated solar radiation on a tower mounted receiver.  Hundreds of
thousands of small sun-tracking mirrors reflect sunlight to the receiver.  In
some technologies, liquid salt is pumped and heated through the receiver and
then stored until power is needed from the plant.  The molten salt is then
pumped into a steam-generating system that turns a conventional electric

In November, an Australian company signed a $500 million agreement with
Pacific Gas and Electric to produce 177 megawatts at a solar-thermal plant
in California’s Central Valley.  The project should be on line in 2010.

The experimental Solar Two Plant in California’s Mojave Desert, financed
in part by the Boeing Company and Bechtel Corp., is be followed by Solar Tres,
a commercial solar collector in Spain.  Meanwhile, Torresol Energy, an
international consortium, recently announced it will design, build and
operate three central tower receivers in Spain.  Beyond Spain, the company
has it sights set on developing other commercial solar generating plants in
sunbelt areas around the world, including the United States.

So, there seems to be a movement of companies around the world who are trying
to get electricity from the sun or wind.  OR are they trying to get ahead
of the game before the people do it for themselves?

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No Responses to “Large-Scale Solar Collectors”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Hi Linda,

    Another great post! Wind and solar are the wave of the future…

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … Yep! its a comin!

  3. Leanne Lonergan Says:

    I reckon they are trying to get in first! We can each have our own little solar setup! : )
    (obviously installed by my cousin! hee hee)

    Leanne Lonergans last blog post..Feeling S.A.D!

  4. Brad Says:

    Hey Linda!

    I’ve not paid any attention, of course, to the evolution of the solar technology.

    How is the cost/benefit ratio stacking up for residential applications? Especially in places like the Seattle area where lots of sun is always a question?

    Of course, I’m asking not as one who’s particularly interested in saving the planet, since I believe the planet will be just fine, but strictly from a cash saving motivation.

    Do you have any good data on where the costs are now?

    Your pain in the neck friend,


    Brads last blog post..Robbers! Thieves! Punks! Uh…Say What?

  5. Linda Says:

    Hi Leanne … nice to have someone to do the job for you who knows what to do! I am still learning!

    Hi Brad … Now, it is still a little expensive to do! However, when the plastic solar panels, due out in 2010, they will be perfect for your side of the world. It will give you power even on cloudy days but will not be at top efficiency. Will keep you advised on costs as the year goes on…. 🙂

  6. meta4man Says:

    This is the stuff I like to read about.

    Al Gore, stuffed shirt and all, had some good points this week wanting to be energy independent in 10 years.

    I just can’t get past thinking of him and Clinton touting the same things before they were elected 20 years ago.

    Still, you have to believe that this time it might stick.

    meta4mans last blog post..Hook Birds – Why I Feed the Birds

  7. spacecoaststargirl Says:

    Thanks for the news! Good scooping. Love your site. It’s real professional looking. Good job on the header. I added this to my favs. Keep up the great work!

    spacecoaststargirls last blog post..Growing a Gorgeous Herb Garden

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