Israeli company Solel, which develops and implements solar thermal technology, has signed a contract with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to build the world's largest solar plant in California's Mojave Desert.
The project will deliver 553 megawatts of solar power, the equivalent of powering 400,000 homes, to PG&E’s customers in northern and central California.
When fully operational in 2011, the Mojave Solar Park plant will cover up to 6,000 acres in the Mojave Desert. Solel is working closely with URS Corporation in the development of the Mojave Solar Park, which when commercial will rely on 1.2 million mirrors and 317 miles of vacuum tubing to capture the desert sun’s heat.
“We are thrilled to bring 553 MW of clean energy to California,” said Avi Brenmiller, chief executive officer of Solel Solar Systems. “Our proven solar technology means Solel can economically turn the energy of the warm California sun into clean power for the state’s homes and businesses.”
Meanwhile, plans to develop a similar project in Israel, where sunlight is abundant, have so far been stalled due to bureaucratic hurdles, and despite efforts by Solel and Greenpeace Israel to promote such a project.
Only recently the Infrastructure Ministry and the Ministry of the Environment decided that a solar plant would be built near Dimona.