Largest Solar Power Plant in World

Article in Sunday’s NY Times magazine by Julie Bosman, photo by Jamey Stillings

“Out in the Mojave Desert in California, a power plant that could eventually generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes hopes to get its moment in the sun soon. When the $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah is completed — sometime next year, if all goes according to plan — nearly 350,000 mirrors on 3,600 acres will reflect light onto boilers. Steam will power turbines, which will generate electricity that flows to California homes. It will be the largest such plant in the world.…”

10 Responses to Largest Solar Power Plant in World

  1. Anonymous says:

    Am I just ill informed? or does it seem like man goes out of his way to make things complicated? There is simple solar available that could provide power at each existing home without taking up 3600 acres.
    Also, wanted to say – Love your blog! It is my favorite way to start the morning. I am very inspired by your books and your blog. Thank you.

  2. Martin says:

    While spectacular in it's design and construction, this is an arrogant example of old paradigm thinking wherein power production must be centralized rather than distributed, as Anonymous notes. If the same $$ were spent providing photovoltaic panels with inverters and water heating panels to each home/building with a viable roof orientation along with regular cleaning and maintenance, I'm convinced the cost per kilowatt would be much lower.

  3. Lloyd Kahn says:

    Seems to me that there are a lot of uses for electricity other than single family homes that can or cannot have roof panels. Like cities or manufacturing facilities…

  4. Mike W says:

    whats the formula for % loss of electricity per mile transferred by HV lines? something horrendous and very inefficient. Agree with the idea of more local power general needed. Seems some building code indicating one must generate a certain % of their homes electric needs would be good.. Also I think some portion of every roof MUST face south at the correct slant for the latitude location.. I'm sure that would fly well with the something for nothing folks out there..not here of course..!

    Mike W


  5. Anonymous says:

    I think it is a step in the right direction but maybe not the most efficient way to get power to homes.
    I think over time we are going to learn a lot from this set up it will open new doors.

  6. Martin says:


    Cities are full of buildings with roofs – tall buildings as well as houses have roofs, many of which are viable for solar. So all I'm saying is why not turn the whole place into a power plant; the wiring is already there.

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  8. Wonderful discussion topics from everybody. It would be great to have solar panels on top of every building within a city. Unfortunately, this is not sustainable since often new homes and buildings are built faster and taller than one another requiring destruction of these expensive and hazardous panels. Having a "Heliocity" seems to be the best idea since development doesn't seem likely in the Mojave and power is needed most in the Las Vegas-Los Angeles region. I think the loss is around 5% for distance of DC power to these two cities. This is a negligible amount when you think about the offset of semis on the road, fumes in the air, materials used, etc. Thanks again Lloyd for your research and opinion! Can't get enough!


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