Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Solar power tower

A plan to build half-mile tall solar towers in the Arizona tower took a step closer to reality with the announcement that "Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) has taken a call option to purchase the first of two EnviroMission 200MW (megawatt) Solar Tower power stations planned for development in La Paz County, Arizona."

Phoenix-based EnviroMission announced last fall that it had two land applications with the Arizona State Land Dept., each total 5,500 acres (2225.85 hectares) "suitable in size for development of a 200Mw Solar Tower power station respectively."

The solar tower funnels air heated in a mile-diameter green house up the 2,500 tall tower, turning turbines along the way that generate electricity. [right, that's the Empire State Bldg at left in the figure. Credit, EnviroMission]


  1. I read several articles on this new technology, it can produce a larger amount of renewable energy. Area like this one are perfectly favorable to generate clean energy.

  2. nice blog.I agreed that solar is very important in future.It has many benefits.As of now, solar power and solar related devices are expensive. But it may be reduced if most of the people start using it. Let us see the future of solar power.

  3. Anonymous10:17 AM

    The announcement states that "Solar updraft towers generate power from air that is heated to high temperature beneath the membrane-covered collectors..." I assume that means that the desert beneath would have to be cleared. What would be the environmental impact of doing that? LaPaz County is almost entirely within desert tortoise habitat. Do any other endangered animals or plants live there?

    At 5,500 acres (8.59 sq. mi.) per pop that's more than 17 sq. mi. of Arizona's desert that would be used. Is the environmental community willing to write these lands off because they like solar energy?

    Why doesn't California use some of the land in the Mojave Desert within its own boundaries? It's much closer to where the power will be used and would require shorter transmission distances. Or, are Arizona's lands less pristine and sensitive than those in southern California? Apparently California just prefers to declare its lands off limits for projects such as this and get its energy (and mineral) resources from other states that are willing to accommodate them.