ACCIONA’s Nevada Solar One is an environmentally friendly, renewable utility-scale power solution that creates power with near-zero carbon emissions.
The 400-acre, 64-megawatt plant harnesses solar energy to power more than 14,000 homes every year. It is the third-largest concentrating solar power plant in the world and the first such plant built in 17 years. Nevada Solar One represents a major renewable-energy success story and has the potential to compete directly with conventional fossil fuel-powered technologies.
ACCIONA’s Nevada Solar One uses proprietary technology to track the sun’s location and concentrate its rays during peak demand hours. The plant employs 760 parabolic concentrators with more than 182,000 mirrors that concentrate the sun’s rays onto more than 18,240 receiver tubes. Fluid that heats up to 735°F flows through these tubes and is used to produce steam that drives a conventional turbine, which is connected to a generator that produces electricity. This is CSP, and ACCIONA excels at it.
ACCIONA recognized the potential for CSP generation in the Southwestern U.S. and built Nevada Solar One to demonstrate that this technology could perform on a commercial scale. The building of CSP plants in the U.S. could help contribute to a lower carbon-emitting electricity grid in just a few decades.As a clean, reliable and cost-efficient technology, CSP offers enormous potential for the U.S., and ACCIONA is leading the way in making it a reality.
Nevada Solar One went online in June 2007, creating over 800 construction jobs during building and approximately 30 permanent operation jobs. All of the power generated was purchased by Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Resources under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) even prior to the plant’s dedication. In powering 14,000 homes in Nevada annually, Nevada Solar One avoids the CO2 emissions equivalent to 20,000 cars. Bringing value to the community, the company and the environment, that’s sustainability.
“Thirty-five miles southeast of Las Vegas is a 280-acre shining oasis on a parched desert plain: the power plant called Nevada Solar One. Every two minutes its 220,000 giant glass mirrors rotate imperceptibly with a barely audible click, tracking the sun's path across the sky.” - Claire Cain Miller, Forbes