Solar Power Moves Ahead in The California Desert

"Nine projects in California are making their way through the Bureau of Land Management's fast-track program which, if completed, will bring over 4,500 megawatts worth of generating capacity onto the grid."
August 16, 2010, 6am PDT | George Haugh
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"The nine projects would cover more than 41,000 acres of BLM land and provide enough power for 3.8 million homes, according to federal estimates."

Demand for such large scale solar power projects in the desert has been driven by a California mandate which requires utilities to obtain 20% of their electricity from sustainable sources by year's end.

Technologies at the sites vary: "The 392-megawatt Ivanpah project, which technology provider BrightSource Energy expects to start construction on this fall, uses a field of mirrors focused on a tower which heats a liquid to make steam that drives a turbine." Elsewhere in California, San Bernardino County is installing "giant parabolic dishes which use the sun's heat to drive an attached Stirling engine to generate electricity."

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Published on Friday, August 13, 2010 in CNET News
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