392 megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Plant goes operational in California

A massive solar energy generation project has been underway in the California desert. The project was the building of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation system that includes three different units generating a massive amount of electricity. Combined, the three units at the Ivanpah plant generate 392 megawatt of power.

This week NRG Solar LLC announced that the solar plant is operational and delivering solar power to homes in California. When operating at full power, the three 450-foot high towers produce a total of 392MW of power. That is enough electricity to power 140,000 homes in California.

The company behind the project says that the level of power that the plant generates in clean solar energy will avoid putting 400,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year into the atmosphere. That is equal to removing 72,000 vehicles from the road.

The Ivanpah facility generates about 30% of all solar thermal energy that is currently produced in the US. The facility is also the largest solar project of its kind in the world. The Ivanpah facility is also the first to use the BrightSource solar power tower technology to produce electricity. The plant uses 173,500 heliostats that follow the sun. The power generated by Ivanpah Units 1 and 3 is being sold to Pacific Gas & Electric while the power from Unit 2 is being sold to Southern California Edison.

SOURCE: Brightsource Energy