24,000 mirrors glimmering under the Antelope Valley summer sun

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eSolar power tower plant unveiled

The full-scale solar thermal power tower plant will produce electricity for utility Southern California Edison (SCE), and could power more than 4,000 homes in California's Antelope Valley.

eSolar, a provider of modular, scalable solar thermal power technology, has unveiled a 5-megawatt (MW) Sierra SunTower solar power plant. The company reckons the full-scale power plant is the only power tower of its kind in the US today.

According to the company, eSolar's technology resolves many of the problems that have held back large scale solar in the past including cost, speed of deployment and proximity to existing transmission lines. "eSolar uses advanced software algorithms to precisely focus thousands of mirrors on a single point to efficiently harvest the sun's energy and achieve economies of scale with a smaller footprint than anyone else in the business", a source claimed.

Constructed in less than one year, eSolar's Sierra SunTower power plant marks the first of several developments in the Antelope Valley region using eSolar technology. Over the course of construction, this project created 300 jobs.

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hussainaa said

15 August 2009
Research, technological development and demonstration of a new generation of renewable energy technologies has an essential role to play in meeting growing energy demand and to allow Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies make a significant contribution to developing a more sustainable energy system. This is especially so in areas which receive a high level of solar radiation. The main concepts used in CSP technologies are parabolic troughs and solar towers systems, which vary according to the concentration devices, energy conversion methods, and storage options. Solar power towers are estimated to reach slightly higher efficiencies. The inherent advantage of CSP technologies is their unique adaptability to conventional thermal plants, as it can be integrated as "a solar burner" in parallel to a fossil burner into conventional thermal cycles. Also, with thermal storage or fossil fuel backup, solar thermal plants can provide firm capacity without the need of separate backup power plants and without stochastic perturbations of the grid. CSP plants play the major role in the long-term energy supply, because with their capability of thermal energy storage and of solar/fossil hybrid operation they can provide reliable capacity and thus are a key element for grid stabilization and power security in such a well-balanced electricity mix.

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