Monday, October 02, 2006

Here comes the sun

Stirling Energy Systems plans to build the nation's - and perhaps the world's - largest solar energy project in the Southern California desert. What's different about this solar project isn't just its immense size (36,000 units that would power about 750,000 homes), but the technology and the speed of its construction. Stirling promises to have the project complete by 2010 with technology that is currently only being used by the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

Stirling is planning 36,000 of the experimental solar units - Sandia just has six of them. By the time the project is complete, Stirling's solar project would produce three times the power of the only other large-scale solar plant, in the Mojave Desert.


Skeptics aren't worried about the technology, but rather of the sheer size of the project. That many units may incur huge repair bills and be in need of constant maintenance.
San Diego Gas & Electric Company covers the service area that would buy the power, and has full faith in the feasibility and profitability of the plant. Read more on the project here.

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