The 3,500-acre, world’s largest solar thermal plant, Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, produced its first output of energy for the first time.
Images © Ivanpah
Ivanpah‘s three units contain a circular array of mirrors reflecting rays from the sun toward a 459-foot central tower.
Water in the tower is heated by the rays to produce steam, which spins turbines and then electricity is produced.
The station’s power tower technology, includes large heliostats that track the sun throughout the day, solar field integration software and a solar receiver steam generator.
Tom Doyle, President of NRG Solar, said:
“Given the magnitude and complexity of Ivanpah, it was very important that we successfully complete this milestone showing all systems were on track. We couldn’t be more excited about achieving ‘first sync,’ and we share this success with our project partners, BrightSource and Google, as well as Bechtel, which is responsible for engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning on the project.”
Power generated from Ivanpah’s initial sync testing will go to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which has a power purchase agreement (PPA) for energy produced out of the plant’s Unit 1 station.
Power generated from Ivanpah’s Unit 3 station is also sold under a PPA with PG&E, while Unit 2 is under a PPA with Southern California Edison. Proof-of-concept testing will also be conducted at Unit 2 and 3 in the coming months.
source Ivanpah Solar