September 13, 2013 - From a distance it looks like a shimmering blue lake in the bleak Mojave Desert. But that mirage is really a mirror - 170,000 of them. They're called heliostats.
"The total project will power 140,000 California homes, so one way to look at it is one heliostat powers one home," says Tom Doyle, the CEO of NRG, the company heading this massive solar project.
"In fact, this is the largest concentrated solar thermal project in the world," Doyle said.
Conventional solar panels capture the sun's energy. These mirrors reflect it onto a 450-foot tall tower. Inside is a boiler which then heats to 1,000 degrees. Water is turned into steam that powers a turbine and creates electricity, which will likely be sent to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Doyle says the project is displacing 400,000 tons per year of C02 by using solar energy in lieu of fossil fuel capacity. read more>>>