Construction about to start the world’s largest solar power facility

To be located in Blythe, California, near Palm Springs, the Blythe Solar Power Project is expected to generate up to 1,000 megawatts (MW) of clean energy when it’s completed. That’s enough power to meet the needs of 300,000 homes each year, and similar in scale to the largest coal and nuclear power plants.

Solar Trust of America, a joint venture between Solar Millennium AG and engineering/construction firm Ferrostaal Incorporated, plans to break ground on the project this Friday.

Rather than use photovoltaic panels, the solar thermal power plant will use Solar Millennium’s HelioTrough collector system to direct the sun’s heat from parabolic mirrors onto a focal line pipe filled with liquid. The heated liquid will be used to generate steam to drive a turbine in an electricity-producing generator.

The system will even be able to keep operating after sundown, as heat energy can be stored in molten salts that can be used to continue producing steam for power generation after dark.

The Blythe project received a conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy in April 2011.

The London-based green office supplies distributor Wiles Greenworld is in the process of redesigning its site to facilitate the installation of solar power panels. This will generate renewable energy to meet the consumption needs of its London base and will encourage eco efficient office management both within the company and amongst its customers that buy a range of environmentally friendly office supplies. To find out if your office is suitable for solar panel installation or for advice on sourcing green office supplies and recycling at work please contact Wiles Greenworld on 0208 758 770 or email sales@wilesgreenworld.co.uk

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