Arizona Getting One Of The World's Largest Solar Thermal Plants

solar thermal arizona

U.S. utility Pinnacle West Capital Corp Friday announced plans for a solar thermal power plant in Arizona that would produce enough electricity to power more than 73,000 homes.

The 290-megawatt plant — which it said would be one of the largest concentrating solar plants in the world — would be owned by an affiliate of private equity firm Starwood Energy and would be built and operated by defence contractor Lockheed Martin Corp .

In a solar thermal power plant, the sun’s rays heat a fluid housed in a long glass tube called a receiver. The hot fluid is then used to generate steam that turns a turbine and creates electricity.

The plant, which is called Starwood Solar I and will be located 75 miles west of Phoenix, is scheduled to be completed in 2013. The power it produces would be purchased by Pinnacle West utility unit Arizona Public Service. (Reporting by Nichola Groom, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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