Solar One: Concentrated on Nevada’s Future

Posted on — By Alexis Lawson

Solar One: Concentrated on Nevada’s Future

Las Vegas is well known around the world for various reasons including one of the city’s most enticing features, its weather. Las Vegas experiences almost perfect weather all year long. It has an average of about 294 sunny days each year. In a city where it is almost always sunny, solar thermal energy is an ideal alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

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Bringing Solar Energy to Nevada

Nevada Solar One is Nevada’s largest concentrated solar power plants. It is stationed right outside of Las Vegas in Boulder City. This type of solar plant works by using mirrors to concentrate energy obtained from the sun. This energy is then used to turn steam engines and turbines. These turbines and steam engines produce electricity that can be stored and used during either daytime or nighttime. The mirrors move or rotate a little bit every two minutes to track the location of this sun allowing the solar plant to operate at peak efficiency. From afar, the mirrors look like a glimmering, sparkling sea. This is a result of all the sunlight being reflected.

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What does Nevada Solar One have to offer?

Nevada Solar One has been up and running since the spring of 2007 occupying 400 acres of land. This solar plant can produce up to a maximum of 70MW of electricity.  It is also capable of supplying power to about 14,000 homes per year. Solar One is the third largest concentrating solar power plant in the world and costs almost 270 million dollars. Although it is created by ACCOINA the energy produced by the plant is sold to NV Energy and Sierra Pacific Resources. This solar plant operates on a utility scale and demonstrates that energy from the sun can be harnessed, stored, and distributed.

Fun Fact!

Nevada Solar One produces an extremely small carbon footprint. The solar plants use of renewable energy, “avoids the CO2 emissions equivalent to 20,000 cars.” (ACCOINA’s Nevada Solar One)