Google announced this week that it will be making its largest renewable energy investment to date by investing $168 million in Brightsource Energy's Ivanpah solar thermal power plant in the Mojave desert. The plant will have an installed capacity of 392 MW.
The Ivanpah plant began construction last year and should be completed in 2013. It will employ 173,000 heliostats, each with two mirrors, to concentrate solar energy onto a tower where the heat will make steam that turns a turbine and creates electricity. While other solar thermal projects are in the works in the Southwest, Ivanpah is the largest solar tower project so far.
This type of solar power technology is one that Google is trying to improve upon themselves. The company announced last year that it was working on a more efficient mirror technology that could lower the cost of solar thermal plants.
This latest investment brings Google's total renewable energy investments up to $250 million.
written by David Guion, April 30, 2011
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