The solar tower under construction as seen from a commercial airliner. The eponymous Crescent Dunes are at lower right.
The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, is a 110 megawatt (MW) solar thermal power project under construction near Tonopah, about 190 miles (310 km) northwest of Las Vegas. The project is being developed by SolarReserve through its subsidiary, Tonopah Solar Energy. The project is anticipated to cost about $1 billion.
The project includes 17,500 heliostat mirrors that collect and focus the sun's thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through an approximately 640-foot (200 m) tall solar power tower. The molten salt circulates from the tower to a storage tank, where it is then used to produce steam and generate electricity. Excess thermal energy is stored in the molten salt and can be used to generate power for up to ten hours, including during the evening hours and when direct sunlight is not available.
Under a power purchase agreement (PPA) between SolarReserve and NV Energy, all power generated by the Crescent Dunes project in the next 20 years will be sold to Nevada Power Company for $0.135 per kilowatt-hour. In late September, Tonopah received a $737 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Ground was broken on the project September 1, 2011. Construction is expected to be complete by the summer of 2013, commercial operation planned to begin in December 2013.
- ^ a b c "DOE Finalizes $737 Million Loan Guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy for Nevada Project" (Press release). Loan Programs Office (LPO), Dept. of Energy (DOE). September 28, 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- ^ "PROJECT SUMMARY". Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- ^ a b Wesoff, Eric (September 29, 2011). "DOE Races Against the Clock: Two Solar Loans Closed, Seven More to Go". Greentech Media. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- ^ Tetreault, Steve (September 28, 2011). "Nevada solar project to get $737 million federal loan guarantee". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- ^ Illia, Tony (January 23, 2012). "Salty Solution Generates Solar Power During Day and Night". ENR Southwest (The McGraw-Hill Companies). Retrieved 9 February 2012.
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