Nevada’s “Crescent Dune” Solar Facility will Produce Energy at Night

Jared Anderson at Breaking Energy writes of technologies for solar power storage that allow the energy generated by the sun to be released at night:

“a US-based company will jump ahead of the competition next year with its molten salt storage technique.

“This technology at this size would leap-frog us into [energy] storage leaders,” Solar Reserve CEO Kevin Smith recently told Breaking Energy.

The California-based, PE-backed startup launches its flagship 110 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) project known as Crescent Dunes next year in the Nevada desert. The technology uses a tower-based approach where thousands of mirrors focus sunlight onto a single point to create heat that generates steam used to spin an electricity-producing turbine. First power to the grid is expected mid-2014.”

Five plants like the one Solar Reserve is completing in Nevada would be equivalent to one of the nearly 600 US coal-fired plants, which generate the majority of greenhouse gases and air pollution put out in America. Closing all coal plants within ten years would make a tremendous contribution to avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

Wired video reports on the Crescent Dunes project

Spain’s Abengoa solar energy firm has already just opened a 250 megawatt molten salt solar energy plant in Arizona, but Anderson seems to be saying that Solar Reserve’s tower technology is distinctive.