In Israel, the world’s tallest solar power plant is set to be completed in the latter half of 2017. The facility was designed to make solar power more effective with less cost by applying technology unused by similar projects.
The tower is being constructed for Israel-based Megalim Solar Power at a cost of $773 million. It is expected to reach heights that no other solar tower has. It is designed to generate over 121 megawatts which will supply about one percent of Israel’s electricity. The facility’s construction was backed by an agreement with the Israeli government, which is working towards 10 percent of energy sources shifting to renewables by 2020.
The most common way of harnessing solar power is through photovoltaic panels, which can be placed anywhere from a yard to a roof. Towers like this generate concentrated solar power. They take up space and are only effective when done on a large scale. Because of these, they are rarely utilised in the Europe and the United States.
Megalim’s tower is equipped with 50,000 computer-operated mirrors, to harness the sun’s rays. They are substantially wider than in past projects and are operated via Wifi network, rather than with costly cables used in the similar endeavors.
Although the tower is privately funded, the Israeli government has promised to purchase the power generated facility when it is completed.
The tower will be able to generate heat of only 540 degrees Celsius to produce steam for driving the turbine. With that, it has overcome a major issue that most solar towers face – incinerating the local bird population.
When BrightSource constructed a facility in Ivanpah, California in 2013 the heat from its mirrors killed off thousands of birds in the area. This led to canceling plans for building other towers in California, Green Biz reported.