Largest Solar Power Farm in the World Set for Nevada

By Editors of Power Engineering

SolarReserve announced what the company’s calling the world’s largest solar power plant to be built 225 northwest of Las Vegas.

The facility could produce between 1,500 MW and 2,000 MW of energy, comparable to Hoover Dam, reported the Associated Press.

SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said the solar array, to be called Sandstone Energy X, would produce power for a million homes, likely in California.

Construction costs would reach $5 billion.

The company already operates Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant, a single-tower solar array on 1,600 acres of federal land outside Tonopah, Nevada. This array works by focusing a circle of mirrors onto a 640 central tower to superheat molten salt, which then boils water to drive power turbines.

The AP noted Sandstone Energy X, which would have 10 towers, would resemble Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a three-tower solar thermal plant 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas. That facility is co-owned by NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy and Google.

SolarReserve officials noted the Sandstone project has the additional ability to store heat without backup fuels or batteries, and can generate electricity in darkness.

Smith said the company will explore federal loan programs and private financing to pay for Sandstone. 

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