I just noticed fresh news of this newly formed company called Torresol that’s developing a Solar Tower of Power for both Spain and Abu Dhabi. It’s cool news and interesting technology, but it strikes me: Does anyone want to use their celebrity or political influence to bring more of these to the U.S.? Hillary? Obama? Gore? Buffett? Pickens? There’s a ton a raw land in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Texas, etc., and any given state could take a stab at a plan with transmission lines, right? I know we talked about an EnviroMission tower before, but I haven’t seen any movement on that front. It might take a green blogger coalition to get more of these built, but if we can’t figure it out, we’re going to see a new generation of dollars going to the same group of people. If you know what I mean …
A concentrating solar concentrating power plant like the one pictured above could generate power for something like 30,000 homes (17 mw).
How It Works:
The Solar Tower of Power seems to have a few iterations, but the idea is that the tower contains molten salt and the surrounding solar concentrators or mirrors (with heliostats) redirect sunlight to the tower. The tower will generate steam that turns an electricity turbine to create energy. The salt is there to keep power going for about 15 hours even when there’s no sun. For precise details check Torresol Energy, a new JV of MASDAR and SENER.