Skip to main content

See also:

Largest solar plant bows with 300,000 software driven mirrors in Mohave Desert

The largest solar plant ever to be built is now working wonders in the Mohave Desert.

According to CNET on Feb. 14, some 300,000 mirrors are turning Southern California's storied sunshine into electricity for the common good.

Called The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System and owned by NRG Energy, Google, and BrightSource Energy, this facility takes up about five square miles of federal government space.

That said, here's how the world's largest solar plant works:

The mirrors, which are controlled by software, reflect the sun onto the top of three 450-foot high towers where there are boilers. These boilers contain water that become steam after being blasted by the sun, thus driving the power generators to do their work.

CNET gives an analogy by using the contrast to army men being melted with a magnifier. The site says that the new plant is basically "a large-scale version " of this "except this version creates usable electricity."

Meanwhile, Bright Source Limitless says that, after finally achieving commercial operation, the world's largest thermal solar plant at Ivanpah is now capacle of offering 140,000 California domiciles an annual dose of clean energy while managing to "avoid 400,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide." This source explains the power of this power, saying it is "equal to removing 72,000 vehicles off the road."

And so, as the largest solar plant in the world bows with 300,000 mirrors in the Mohave Desert, clean energy is being spread far and wide in Southern California.