Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another giant solar plant to serve Phoenix area

Arizona Public Service has committed to buying electricity from a second, giant solar energy plant. The Starwood Solar I will generate 290 megawatts in the Harquahala Valley, about 75 miles west of Phoenix, and south of I-10. It will cover 1,900 acres.

The plant will use 3,500 parabolic mirrors [right, credit APS] to heat up fluids that will turn water into steam to turn the turbines. Excess heat will go into molten salt to be used to generate electricity for up to 6 hours after sundown.

APS last year agreed to take power from the Solana Generating Station, a 280-megawatt concentrating solar power plant to be built 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend.


  1. Why only salt is used, why not any other minerals? Any way why salt is used in the first place, how does it helps as a part of the process?

  2. Salt is used due to its melting point, its ability to retain that heat for night conversion at a lower level of output and its cheap price.

  3. Anonymous7:48 AM

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