The World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Looks Absolutely Majestic

Who knew that renewable energy could look so beautiful?

1. There’s a new solar plant in the Californian desert, which you really should take a look at.

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2. Why? Because it is the largest solar thermal power plant in the world.

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That isn’t three photos merged into one. This is just one photo.

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3. This is the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California, which opened just last week.

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More than 347,000 mirrors focus on three tall towers, which contain water. The water is heated to extremely high temperatures, producing steam which is then used to power turbines.

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4. In all it will generate 392 megawatts of energy, producing enough electricity to power 140,000 Californian homes.

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5. More than 3,500 acres of land was used to build this system. As a result, it will save more than 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

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6. This is what each of the boiler towers look like up close, in case you were wondering.

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7. How much did this all cost? $2.2 billion. A federal loan provided guarantee $1.6 billion funding. NRG Energy has invested $300 million and Google invested $168 million in the project.

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8. See look? GOOGLE.

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9. These mirrors, called heliostats, are computer controlled, so are able to tilt according to the position of the sun.

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10. To get a sense of how big these heliostats are, compare the size of these helostats with one of the cars in the centre of this photo.

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11. I mean, you wouldn’t want to get lost somewhere like this.

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Plus you would be in the desert, so you’re likely to be dead soon too.

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12. Not everyone is thrilled about the project. There are concerns that birds are being burnt to death from flying between the heliostats and the towers…

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… whilst other environmentalists are concerned that the location of the plant will affect the yearly migration of a threatened tortoise species.

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13. Still, it’s a lot better than a huge oil plant, owned by a big evil Mr Burns type character in an evil lair.

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<3 you renewable energy.

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Scott Bryan is the UK entertainment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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