Nevada Solar One, a 64 MWe capacity solar thermal energy plant, started up yesterday – Wednesday June 6, 2007. The plant cost its developers $250 million and it is projected to produce 124 million kilowatt-hours per year. The plant covers approximately 400 acres with mirrored troughs that concentrate the heat from the desert sun (the plant is near Las Vegas) onto pipes that contain a heat transfer fluid.
Here are some questions for thought – how much do you predict that the electricity from the plant will cost? What do you think of the prospects for engineering or manufacturing improvements that will reduce the overall cost of this kind of project? Is this something that will save the earth from the effects of fossil fuel burning? (Okay – that last one is a loaded question. 🙂 )