Thursday, July 26, 2007

World's first commercial solar plant sees the light

World's first commercial solar plant sees the light (Photo)

In the arid Spanish countryside, PS10, a dazzling array of 624 1,292-square-foot mirrors, directs sunlight to a receiver atop a 35-story tower. There the blast of tight boils water into steam that generates 11 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 6,000 homes. The first commercial-scale power plant of its kind, PS10 came online in March. PS10-type technologies are less expensive to manufacture than photovoltaics, but they work only in very sunny areas. Abengoa, the company that built PS10, has begun a sister project nearby that wilt produce 20 megawatts of electricity. These, together with other planned solar projects at this site, will soon generate 300 megawatts, enough electricity to power 180,000 homes, equivalent to the neighboring city of Seville.

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