The 29 MW, 100-acre, solar plant will use BrightSource’s solar thermal power tower technology to produce steam, which will be used for enhanced oil recovery. Oil companies inject high-temperature and pressure steam into oil wells to access more oil. Not exactly clean, but a way to extend oil supplies.
The plant will use 3,822 heliostats (each have two 10 by 7 foot mirrors on 6-foot steel poles), and these heliostats focus the sun’s rays onto a central boiler that sits on top of a 327-foot tall tower. BrightSource is also in the process of building a much larger 392 MW, 3,600-acre, solar farm near Las Vegas, which will uses thousands of heliostats and three 450-foot towers.