Nevada Solar One Dedicated to Power Las Vegas Homes

BOULDER CITY, Nevada, February 24, 2008 (ENS) – Nevada Solar One, the world’s largest concentrating solar power plant to be built in 17 years, was dedicated Friday at Boulder City, about 32 miles southeast of Las Vegas in the Eldorado Valley.

Spread over 400 desert acres, the Nevada Solar One plant uses a parabolic trough design that employs 182,000 curved mirrors, which track and concentrate the sun’s rays in a process that creates 64 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 14,000 homes in Nevada annually.

The solar troughs cover 300 acres, the size of approximately 200 football fields. It is the third largest plant of its kind in the world.

“Nevada Solar One represents our bid to excel in new technologies to produce clean and sustainable energy, with an emphasis on economic viability, technological competence and the capacity to be replicated on a large scale in locations around the world,” said Jose Manuel Entrecanales, Chairman and chief executive of ACCIONA, the Spanish company that designed and built the solar power plant and will operate it.

“Three years ago, we launched this project in Nevada because of the existing solar resources and the capacity to provide a significant portion of the electricity consumed by a city like Las Vegas in the hours of peak demand,” said Entrecanales.

“We also chose Nevada for the outstanding commitment of this state to the development of sources of renewable energy,” he said.

Scientists, environmentalists, federal and state public officials, and industry executives were present at the dedication ceremony, including U.S. astronaut Dr. Sally Ride and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers.

Speaking at the dedication was Michael Yackira, CEO, Nevada Power/Sierra Pacific Resources, which has a long-term partnership agreement with Nevada Solar One and distributes the solar energy to homes in the region.

Actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. was the event moderator.

Speaking at the dedication via a video taped message, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, noted the importance of ACCIONA’s role in addressing global warming and climate change.

Nevada Solar One (Photo
courtesy Nevada Power)

ACCIONA aims to reduce the world’s CO2 emissions by 220 million tons in the next 23 years.

This is a full one percent of the 18.4 billion tons needed from the world’s power production industry by the 2030 deadline set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Entrecanales said Nevada Solar One is an important part of ACCIONA’s plan to meet that goal.

In a press conference following the event, Alberto de Miguel, ACCIONA Energy’s executive director of corporate development and strategy discussed the company’s plans to expand its renewable portfolio in the United States.

“We see a tremendous opportunity here in the United States,” said de Miguel. “This country has the natural resources, the technical expertise and the entrepreneurial drive to lead the clean technology revolution.”

Parabolic trough systems, like the one being used in Nevada Solar One, concentrate the sun’s energy through long rectangular, U-shaped mirrors. The mirrors are tilted toward the sun, focusing sunlight on a pipe that runs down the center of the trough. This heats the oil flowing through the pipe. The hot oil then is used to boil water in a conventional steam generator to produce electricity.

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