This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 15, 2006

Solargenix Breaks Ground on Large Solar Power Plant in Nevada

Solargenix Energy LLC broke ground on February 11th in Boulder City, Nevada, on a 64-megawatt solar thermal power plant, the largest of its kind to be built since 1992. Called Nevada Solar One, the power plant will employ trough-shaped mirrors to focus the sun's energy onto "receiver" tubes that carry oil. The hot oil will be used to boil water into steam, which will drive a turbine and generator to produce power. According to Schott, which is providing 19,300 receiver tubes for the plant, its new efficient receiver tube design will heat the oil to more than 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Acciona Energia, a Spanish renewable energy company, is investing $262 million in the plant, which should begin power production next year. See the Solargenix Web site, the press releases from Acciona Energia and Schott, and a description of solar trough technology on DOE's Troughnet Web site.

Photo of a rectangular array of lenses installed on a complex mount that is pointing toward the sun.

The solar collector from International Automated Systems focuses sunlight using plastic Fresnel lenses.
Credit: IAUS

More solar thermal plants could be coming to Nevada. International Automated Systems, Inc. signed a $150 million contract on February 9th to install a 100-megawatt power plant for Solar Renewable Energy-1 LLC of Nevada. The company has developed an innovative technology based on thin acrylic Fresnel lenses that focus sunlight onto receiver tubes, and it intends to combine that technology with a bladeless turbine driven by steam passing through rocket nozzles. See the press release and the solar and turbine technology pages on the International Automated Systems Web site.