"From five miles away, the Nevada Solar One power plant seems a mirage, a silver lake amid waves of 110 degree F. desert heat. Driving nearer, the rippling image morphs into a sea of mirrors angled to the sun.
As the first commercial 'concentrating solar power' or CSP plant built in 17 years, Nevada Solar One marks the reemergence and updating of a decades-old technology that could play a large new role in US power production, many observers say.
'Concentrating solar is pretty hot right now,' says Mark Mehos, program manager for CSP at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Co. 'Costs look pretty good compared to natural gas [power]. Public policy, climate concern, and new technology are driving it, too.'"