Google Gets Bigger in Solar Power

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Google is investing $168 million in what it says will be the world’s tallest solar power tower.

The internet giant is funding BrightSource Energy’s solar farm in the Mojave desert, which employs an Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System to produce solar energy by utilizing fields of heliostats to concentrate the sun’s rays. The concentrated rays are directed towards the top of a tower where a receiver converts the rays into steam that powers a traditional turbine and generator to make electricity.

The Ivanpah Power Tower will reach approximately 450 feet tall and will use 173,000 heliostats, each with two mirrors. By the time the plant is up and running in 2013, it will be producing 392 MW of solar energy.

The Ivanpah announcement followed Google’s statement last week that it will invest $5 million towards a solar photovoltaic farm in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany.

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