Solana, the U.S.’s first large-scale solar plant that can store the energy it generates on Tuesday was given a $1.45 billion loan guarantee by Secretary Chu.
The advantage of storage capacity is that Solana will be able to keep energy that would not be used during peak demand, thus increasing solar power’s dependability.
Solana will be built near Gila Bend in Arizona, a 250MW project deemed the world’s largest parabolic trough concentrating plant. It will produce enough energy for 70,000 households and will help to prevent the emission of 475,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year compared to a natural gas burning power plant.
Besides the environmental benefits, the plant will generate between 1,600 and 1,700 new construction jobs and then 60 permanent jobs in Arizona and neighboring states. A mirror manufacturing facility will be built outside Phoenix in order to provide the 900,000 mirrors needed for the project, further boosting the local job market.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.