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Google gives solar power tower a $168 million boost

Google, which has been betting big on cleantech to meet its energy needs, has invested $168 million in a solar power tower.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributing Editor on

Google, which has been betting big on cleantech to meet its energy needs, has invested $168 million in a solar power tower.

This tower, being developed by BrightSource Energy in the Mojave Desert, is slated to generate 392 MW of solar energy. The project, dubbed the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) is notable for its structure. Power towers have been demonstrated, but are relatively rare in the U.S. The technology uses field mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays on a receiver on top of a tower. The receiver generates steam and spins a turbine to create electric. In a nutshell, power towers offer highly concentrated solar power.

In a blog post, Google said:

We need smart capital to transform our energy sector and build a clean energy future. This is our largest investment to date, and we’ve now invested over $250 million in the clean energy sector. We’re excited about Ivanpah because our investment will help deploy a compelling solar energy technology that provides reliable clean energy, with the potential to significantly reduce costs on future projects.

The power tower is expected to be complete in 2013.

Here's what the power tower looks like today.

And when it's complete.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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