What’s one of the biggest hurdles for solar power? The sun just doesn’t run on that kind of schedule. Amazingly, however, a new solar power plant slated to go up in the Arizona desert will soon be able to bypass that pesky problem.
Abengo Solar Inc. is heading the $2 billion endeavor, but once the plant is up and running, it will be able to provide an additional six hours of electricity each day during periods of time when the sun isn’t shining. This will be made possible by storing the heat generated by the sun to create steam that will in turn power turbines.
While construction is planned to start in the middle of this year, the plant isn’t expected to be operational until 2013. It will be the first plant of its kind for the United States, although Nevada and California may soon be jumping on the bandwagon, and there are a few already running in Spain.
Backed by a $1.45 billion U.S. loan, the Solana plant will provide electricity year-round for an impressive 70,000 homes in the region. It is currently under a 30-year contract to sell what it generates to the utility company, Arizona Public Service.
Photo Credit: Paul Keller via Flickr CC