World's Largest Solar Power Plant One Step Closer to Installation in California
1000 MW California Solar Power Plant uses Turbine Trough Technology
Last Wednesday, California came one step closer to becoming home to the largest solar power plant in the world. Developers of the $6 billion solar power plant gained clearance from the California Energy Commission to begin construction in Blythe, California. Clearance is still needed, however, from the Bureau of Land Management before building can actually begin, and this ruling is not expected until the end of the month. The developers are hoping to secure a loan from the Department of Energy, but this agency is also still evaluating the proposal.
The proposed solar power plant would actually be a group of four 250 megawatt power plants, and would therefore have a 1,000 megawatt capacity total. 1,000 megawatts is more than double the capacity of all the solar power plants installed in the U.S. in the last year. The Blythe, California solar power plant will employ mirrors to convert fluid into steam, which will expand through steam turbine generators. This process is known as turbine trough technology. Southern California Edison has already agreed to buy all of the energy generated by the first two plants.
The proposed solar power plant began as a collaboration between Chevron and Solar Millennium, although Solar Millennium now maintains that it is in a partnership with Ferrostaal on this project, and that Chevron has dropped out.