Perth Solar Energy

World’s Largest Solar Tower Takes Next Step Forward

Solar energy speculators want to build a solar tower facility in Arizona that would be more than three times the height of the Eiffel Tower. Here’s the thing: the proposed project is a lot less speculative today than it was two weeks ago.

EnviroMission, a solar-energy start-up based in Melbourne, Australia, said today it is moving forward with plans to construct two 200 MW solar-power facilities in Arizona. EnviroMission Limited, the Australian company’s Phoenix-based subsidiary, has apparently initiated the environmental review process for the two mega solar tower facilities by filing documents with the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee.

Considering the scale of the proposed towers, the environmental review may receive more significant scrutiny than other solar-energy projects. A pilot facility using similar technology operated in Spain during the 1980s, but only produced about 50 kW of power. The scale proposed for the Arizona projects would be a step-change in scale for these types of solar-energy projects. Each of the towers would be roughly the size of a two-car garage standing well-over half a mile high. Collectively, both facilities would occupy more than 10,000 acres of land. In October, EnviroMission received approval to sell electricity from the first of two planned 200 MW solar power facilities to the Southern California Public Power Authority under the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement.

The solar tower would produce electric power through a so-called “solar updraft” technology. The tower harnesses the sun’s radiation to heat a large body of air stored under a large collector zone. This process can raise air temperatures above 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat funnels intense drafts of hot air through wind turbines constructed on the inside of the tower’s vertical shaft. The massive scale of the two towers would produce up to 200 MW of electricity respectively.

While the facility would only operate at full capacity for 12 hours a day, the technology is designed to work without water, which is often used in cooling systems for solar thermal plants and is a precious commodity in Arizona. The precise locations of the proposed facilities in Arizon is still confidential.

By William Pentland.
Original source:

This entry was posted in General Solar News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.