|World's Largest Solar Power Plant
To Be Built In Arizona
By: Solar Tim
Covering over five thousand square miles of
US territory, the heat drenched sands of the
Sonoran Desert are shifting toward energy
independence for America. The Sonoran
Desert is a land of blazing sun and heat,
making it the new gold mine of energy
engineers looking for alternatives to fossil
fuels. The largest project in the region, to be
located near Phoenix Arizona, is Solana.
Solana will cover an area of three square
miles and will be the world's largest solar
power plant when completed.
In a cooperative effort, Abengoa Solar and
Arizona Public Service Company (APS) are
teaming up to become the biggest players on
the alternative energy block, leading the way
for massive investment into solar power.
Right now, America uses an estimated 100
quadrillion btu (3.23 terawatts) of power per
year and the number is rising. Almost all of
this vast ocean of consumed energy is
currently being produced by using fossil
fuels, leading to ever rising fuel costs and
Expected to be completed in 2011, Solana will
collect solar radiation and convert it to heat,
creating steam to power turbines, and will
produce a whopping 280 Megawatts of power.
Excess heat is stored in molten salt tanks.
According to Peter Kelly of Renewcomm, the
plant can run at full capacity for 6 hours after
sundown, providing 70,000 residents with
clean inexpensive power. APS estimates the
cost of the plant to be about one billion
dollars. The electricity generated by the plant
will be sold to APS, over the next thirty years,
at a cost of around 4 billion US dollars.
Tensions over oil are rising as fast as the
price of a barrel of oil. Rising prices are
straining the already stretched pocketbooks
of Americans, putting many people out of
business because they can no longer afford
to fuel their vehicles and equipment. Without
more plants like Solana, America is headed
for war over fuel supplies.
Arizona is the new Mecca for clean renewable
energy and is being called, "The Persian Gulf
of Solar Energy." The Southwest region of
the United States promises to provide enough
electrical power to supply the entire US with
power, and then some. America may soon be
back in the business of selling energy, rather
than buying it. With more plants like Solana
we are truly looking toward a brighter future
with solar, both for investors and consumers.