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World News | May 2011

Google funds world's largest solar project in California

Popular Internet search engine Google has invested $168 million to help complete the construction of one of the world's biggest solar energy power plants in California's Mojave Desert. The plant, Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS), which is being developed by BrightSource Energy, will generate 392 MW of clean, solar energy when completed in 2013.

Rick Needham, Director (Green business operations) Google, said that the plant will be sufficient to supply power to 85,000 homes a year - that's the equivalent of taking over 90,000 cars off the road over the lifetime of the plant, which is projected to be more than 25 years.  
The BrightSource investment, which puts the company's investment in clean energy projects to $250 million will help ensure that one of the world's largest solar energy projects is completed, he said. The US Department of Energy said that it had finalised $1.6 billion in loan guarantees to support the Ivanpah solar system. The Ivanpah project uses mirrors (heliostats) to focus the sun's rays onto a solar receiver on top of a tower. Steam generated by the solar receiver spins a turbine and generator to make electricity. The Ivanpah power tower will be 450 feet tall when it has been completed and will use over 173,000 dual-mirror heliostats. The project is being built by US engineering giant Bechtel and construction began in October 2010.
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