Solar

Ivanpah Solar Power Plant Is PennWell’s Renewable Energy Project of the Year

On Monday evening during PennWell’s Annual Awards Gala, Ivanpah was named the 2014 Renewable Energy Project of the Year.

Editors from Renewable Energy World and Power Engineering selected the winner from among the five finalists. The winner was announced and recognized at the co-located Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo and Power-Gen International in Orlando, Florida during the Annual Awards Gala on Monday night.

To be eligible for an award, a project needs to have been commissioned between August 1st, 2013 and July 31st, 2014 and have made a significant impact on the entire renewable energy industry.  When judging the finalists, network editors considered the technology that was employed as well as the projects’ impact on the industry at large and on the communities in which they were installed.

Located in California’s Mojave Desert, Ivanpah is a shining example of renewable energy progress, as evidenced by the fanfare at its dedication. Esteemed guests included representatives from not only its creators at Bechtel, NRG Energy and Brightsource and financiers from the DOE and Google, but also Grammy-nominated rock band The Fray, which used the project as a backdrop for their album cover and recent music video.

Ivanpah uses 173,500 heliostat mirrors that focus sunlight on several centralized power towers.  The towers generate steam to drive specially adapted 123-MW Siemens steam turbines — the largest fully solar-powered turbines in the world. In order to reduce its environmental impact, Ivanpah also utilizes dry cooling to condense the steam back into water, which minimizes water consumption to just 0.03 gallons of water per kW of electricity generated.

The project is a concentrating solar power success story and is well deserving of the prestigious award.