It looks like a giant funhouse mirror. But the big new dish atop South Table Mountain could be a renewable energy breakthrough that helps make concentrated solar power more affordable and appealing to utilities and their customers.

"There is a cascade of opportunities to lose some light at every step in the process. That's why we field test the whole unit and get solid data over a number of months. It removes the uncertainty in the final efficiency result." -- Keith Gawlik, Senior Engineer, NREL