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USA's First Solar Tower Unveiled

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eSolar, a U.S. solar thermal power company, last week unveiled its 5-megawatt (MW) Sierra SunTower solar power plant

eSolar, a U.S. solar thermal power company, last week unveiled its 5-megawatt (MW) Sierra SunTower solar power plant; heralding what it says is the beginning of a new era for solar energy in the nation.

The solar farm is the first of its kind in the U.S. and produces enough electricity for over 4,000 homes in California’s Antelope Valley.

eSolar’s installation uses advanced software algorithms to precisely focus 24,000 mirror on a single point to efficiently harvest the sun’s energy. The focused heat boils water within a thermal receiver and produces steam. The steam is then piped to a turbine, where it generates power. The steam then reverts back to water through cooling, and the process repeats.

Constructed in under a year, eSolar’s Sierra SunTower power plant is the first of a number of similar installation planned for the Antelope Valley region. Three other plants will be constructed in California and New Mexico; generating up to 465 megawatts of electricity using eSolar technology.

In March this year, eSolar licensed its technology to India-based ACME Group for approximately 1 gigawatt of eSolar solar thermal capacity.

Over the course of construction, the first Antelope Valley project created 300 jobs.

Another aspect of the environmentally friendly solar farms developed by eSolar are their locations – previously disturbed private lands, avoiding development on pristine desert lands.

Founded in 2007 to develop, construct and deploy modular, scalable solar thermal power plants; eSolar has enjoyed solid backing from companies including search engine giant, Google, through its Google.org foundation.

Google.org focuses its investment on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the efficiency of energy use, and the use of cleaner and renewable energy sources.

Source: World of Solar Thermal.com

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