Google Spends $168 Million On New Solar Plant
Google announced yesterday that the company has invested a large amount of money in a new solar energy power plant located in the Mojave Desert, California. How much was the investment you ask? $168 million big ones. The initiative follows Google’s recent investment in a German solar plant. Google’s project is called the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) and was developed by BrightSource Energy.
The plant stands 450 feet tall and has been engineering by the firm, Bechtel. It will be the world’s largest solar power tower plant. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is expected to run 392 megawatts of solar energy and have a lifespan of 25 years. The amount of solar energy that is produced from the plant is like taking 90,000 cars off the road during the plant’s lifetime. The new system will work by using 173,000 heliostats (mirrors that focus the sun’s rays into a solar receiver) located at the top of the tower.
The heliostats pack a large amount of solar energy into a concentrated area. The solar receiver harvests that energy to generate steam, spinning a turbine and generator to create electricity. The steam is produced at a very high pressure and temperatures can rise up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Google’s project is expected to complete in 2013 and will be funded through clean energy technology guarantees offered by the U.s. Department of Energy.