Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, California, Near Primm, Nevada
Image by Ken Lund
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert, 64 km (40 miles) southwest of Las Vegas, with a gross capacity of 392 megawatts (MW). It deploys 173,500 heliostats, each with two mirrors, focusing solar energy on boilers located on three centralized solar power towers. Unit 1 of the project was connected to the grid in September 2013 in an initial sync testing. The facility formally opened on February 13, 2014 and it is currently the world’s largest solar thermal power station.
The project was developed by BrightSource Energy and Bechtel. It cost .2 billion; the largest investor in the project is NRG Energy, a power generating company based in Princeton, New Jersey, that has contributed 0 million. Google has contributed 8 million. In 2010, the project was scaled back from the original 440-megawatt (590,050 hp) design, to avoid building on the habitat of the desert tortoise.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System consists of three solar thermal power plants on a 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) tract of public land near the Mojave Desert and the California—Nevada border in the Southwestern United States; this is near Interstate 15 and north of Ivanpah, California. The site is visible from adjacent Mojave National Preserve, Mesquite Wilderness, and Stateline Wilderness.