The call to save environment from the harmful greenhouse gases and the rapidly rising prices of non-renewable energy has prompted us to look for alternative sources of energy. Solar energy is without doubt the most useful source of renewable energy available to us and we need to maximize its use in our daily life. Many countries have now set up concentrated solar plants to harness solar energy for useful purposes. The solar energy is the cleanest form of energy. The need of the hour is that we should set up more and more concentrated solar plants as it will allow us to maximize the use of the solar energy. Here is a list of five biggest concentrated solar plants in the world:
1. Abu Dhabi concentrating solar power plant
Abu Dhabi, one of the richest cities in the world, has decided to set up a concentrating solar power plant with a capacity to produce around 100MW of electrical power. The solar power plant named Shams 1 will be developed by Masdar in partnership with Total and Abengoa Solar. Masdar is owned by Abu Dhabi government. The plant will cover around one square mile and it will be the worldâs largest solar power plant. The plant will be built in Madinat Zayed desert, around 100km from Abu Dhabi. The mirrors used in this plant will be used to heat oil, which will be used for the heating of water. The hot water will generate steam, which will be used to run a steam generator. It is expected that the plant would offset CO2 emissions by about 170,000 tons annually. The UN has registered this project under its Clean Development Mechanism project, which means that this eco-friendly project will receive carbon credits.
2. Sahara concentrated solar plant
Renewable energy giants are using Sahara Desertâs dryness to install the largest solar power plant of the world in the Sahara Desert. The idea is to set up a plant that will be able to generate around 100GW of solar power. Desertec Foundation is promoting this ambitious project. It is learnt that 20 big German companies have agreed to set up this plan and are willing to invest in the whole set-up. This plant is different from other concentrated solar power plant because this plant will not be install at a single place but it t would be scattered in North Africaâs stable countries. The power generated by this huge solar power plant would be transported to Europe. The companies would spend around â¬400bn on this project, which is expected to go online in the next 10-15 years.
3. CA Mojave desert concentrated solar plant
The California utilities are rapidly acknowledging the use of renewable and Mojave Desert in California is one of the worldâs hottest places to set up solar power plant. Few years ago, Pacific Gas and Electric decided to set up the largest solar array of the world here and signed a deal to set up this solar power plant in collaboration with BrightSource Energy. The two companies have inked a deal to install three solar-thermal electric plants with a combined output of 500 megawatts of energy that will be completely green. The plant worth around $3 billion would generate power that would be used to provide electricity to 375,000 homes in California. The first plant is scheduled to open in 2011.
4. Spainâs Gemasolar array concentrated solar plant
The concentrated solar power plant in Spain is set up by Torresol Energy. The Gemasolar Array Concentrated Solar Plant has a total output of around 19.9 MW. It is located in the Andalucia province. This solar power plant has two tanks of molten salt. These tanks are used to store heat energy which is generated daily. The energy stored by the plant allows Torresol to provide electricity during the summer season when the demand is at its peak. The Gemasolar power plant is a joint venture between Spanish firm Sener and Abu Dhabiâs Masdar. The electricity generated by Gemasolar is used to power 25,000 homes.
5. Arizona concentrated solar plant
Technology firm Abengoa Solar has joined hands with Arizonaâa utility firm Arizona Public Service Co. to set up the Arizona Concentrated Solar Plant. This solar plant will produce 280-Megawatts of energy. The plant is scheduled to produce electricity by the end of 2011. This huge solar power plant is located around 120km southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The solar plant named Solana will provide electricity to around 70,000 homes. This plant is completely eco-friendly.