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200MW solar thermal tower coming to Arizona! - Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2011-07-25 16:48
  Subject:   200MW solar thermal tower coming to Arizona!
  Mood:aww yea
  Music:Updraft - Miracle Already Done

An ambitious solar energy project on a massive scale is about to get underway in the Arizona desert. EnviroMission is undergoing land acquisition and site-specific engineering to build its first full-scale solar tower. And when we say full-scale, we mean it! The mammoth 800-plus meter (2625 ft) tall tower will instantly become one of the world's tallest buildings. Its 200-megawatt power generation capacity will reliably feed the grid with enough power for 150,000 US homes, and once it's built it can be expected to more or less sit there producing clean, renewable power with virtually no maintenance until it's more than 80 years old. In the video after the jump, EnviroMission CEO Roger Davey explains the solar tower technology, the Arizona project and why he couldn't get it built at home in Australia.


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Helvetica 'Foofers' Bold: Shiny Bubbles
  User: foofers
  Date: 2011-07-25 23:48 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:Shiny Bubbles
Cool! Or, uh, warm. I remember reading about the Australia plan a few years ago, was kinda bummed nothing ever became of it.

The retarded armchair physicists, economists and environmentalists in the comments though...gawd, it makes me ashamed to be a member of the same species.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2011-07-26 16:30 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
> I remember reading about the Australia plan a few years ago, was kinda bummed nothing ever became of it.

Same here. I'm so glad they found a way to pull it off. We know this tech works (pilot plant in Manzanares, Spain proved it), and the energy is entirely renewable. Building these towers doesn't require any rare earth metals or fancy/expensive manufacturing processes, and the land they use is cheap, so the payback on investment is fast.

This is a renewable energy source that really has all the right attributes to put the hurt on coal. (Though we still have to figure out way to store energy for night-time demand, unless we're okay with keeping a few coal or nuke plants around.)

Since I've just moved and have no net connection at home, I haven't had a chance to watch the video yet. But I'm looking forward to it very much.

Thanks for the warning on the comments - I'll be sure to have a good laugh at them. ;]
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