Ivanpah solar thermal plant in full service

Feb. 13, 2014 at 8:18 AM

NIPTON, Calif., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The world's largest solar project of its kind, the Ivanpah system in California, is in service with a full capacity of 392 megawatts, developers said Thursday.

The Ivanpah solar system, lead by a joint effort between NRG Solar, Google and BrightSource Energy, went into full service Thursday, providing solar power to California consumers.

The project uses solar arrays that track the sun's movement and focuses its energy for steam-power generation. At its peak, it will be able to generate 392 megawatts of energy, enough to meet the annual electricity demands of 140,000 households in California.

"We see Ivanpah changing the energy landscape by proving that utility-scale solar is not only possible, but incredibly beneficial to both the economy and in how we produce and consume energy," Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar, said in a statement Thursday.

The project was the recipient of a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. NRG Solar said Ivanpah accounts for 30 percent of all solar thermal energy currently in service in the United States and is the largest project of its kind in the world.

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