The Solar Project

Tuesday, 15th May 2007 by

This is the incredible Solar Project in the Mojave desert, California. Originally conceived as Solar One, this was the first test of a large scale thermal solar power tower power plant, and you can clearly make out the tower's shadow here.

It became Solar Two when a second ring of heliostats was added, making a total of 1926 heliostats with a total area of 82,750m². The idea is that the heliostats track the movement of the sun and focus the light onto the central tower, which stores the heat in molten salt.

Apparently Solar Two had the ability to produce 10 megawatts of power by redirecting the equivalent of 600 suns!

Solar Two was decommissioned in 1999, and was converted into an Air Cherenkov Telescope in 2001 (which measures gamma rays hitting the atmosphere), but there are currently plans underway to build Solar Tres in Spain.

Thanks to russ, Scott Ventura and Gesh.