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February 14, 2014

Nevada's new thermal plant is largest of its kind in the world

  • The $2.2 billion plant — owned by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy — has 350,000 mirrors that can produce enough power for 140,000 homes.
  • By BRIAN SKOLOFF
    Associated Press

    PRIMM, Nevada — A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the American West.

    The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, sprawling across roughly 5 square miles (13 sq. kilometers) of federal land near the California-Nevada border, formally opened Thursday after years of regulatory and legal tangles ranging from relocating protected tortoises to assessing the impact on Mojave milkweed and other plants.


     
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