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Ivanpah Solar Facility

These are photos we took on a visit to the Ivanpah Solar Generating Station in the Mojave desert, just off the I15 freeway between LA and Las Vegas near the CA/NV border

Use these directions to navigate the slides. Clicking on any small slide leads to a larger version.

Here is the facility on Google Maps. Note that each of the three generators are about the size of the Primm golf course nearby, but they use a lot less water!

We got directions from the company developing it on how to find it and visit. While there are no guided tours yet as it is an active construction site, public roads run through it so seeing the facility is easy. This is the view from the exit just west of the facility.

You can drive around the facility on both paved and dirt roads. Note the I15 freeway in the upper LH corner.

Here you can see the three towers. Mirrors focus sunlight on the towers to heat a liquid to generate steam that runs turbine generators.

One of the good things is it is next to current power distrubtion lines that can be used to deliver power to CA and NV.

It is also near current fiber optic cables running along the freeway.

And multiple companies have regen huts for their fiber links next to the solar facility.

Each tower is ~460 feet high and the generation equipment is at the base. By using this steam generation method, heat can be stored for generating power when the sun not overhead!

Looking down the road to the #2 system. It was near dark when the photo was made, but you can see the generation equipment and the mirrors that heat the tower.

There are thousands of mirrors that direct sunlight to each toer. They move and are controlled by fiber optic cables to local control boxes.

You can see the pedestals of many mirrors here, but note the land is left as natural as possible.

More mirrors. You can see the cables connecting each pedestal.

One of the mirrors angled to allow seeing how it is aimed. They appear to be made of metal.

Looking in another direction. You can see these mirrors from the public road that runs through the middle of the facility.

Here is one of the control boxes. Each of these boxes is connected to a central control location on fiber optics (we helped find workers for this project) and then cables are run to the pedestals nearby.

A closer view of one of the pedestals near the main road.

It looks spectacular from the freeway - here headed west.

The heat of thousands of mirrors makes the tower look like an incandescent light. This facility will generate ~377 megawatts, enough to power ~140,000 homes.