The 392 MW Ivanpah solar thermal project, being constructed by Bechtel in south California’s Mojave Desert, is reportedly the world’s largest solar power project as of now. It’s commissioning slated for 2013, this solar power plant would have a net output of 370 MW after deducting 22 MW to be consumed in running the plant. The project is owned by BrightSource Energy in partnership with NRG Solar and the internet giant, Google.
The solar power project is based on heliostat mirror technology that relies on arrays of large numbers of heliostat mirrors (2.2m X 3.2m each) tracking the sun throughout the day and continuously focusing it’s light on receivers mounted on large towers. The heat, so harnessed, would in turn be utilised to generate power. The project is claimed to be an eco-friendly one as it will reduce emission of carbon dioxide substantially.
Spread over several square kilometer of area in the desert, the project comprises of two units of 100 MW each and another one of approx. 200 MW, totalling it’s planned capacity of 392 MW which alone is estimated to account for nearly half of global solar power generating capacity by then.