Hinkley Mojave Solar Project Now In Operation

The Mojave Solar Generating Station in Hinkley reached commercial operation in early December and was given its public inauguration last week.
Designed to have a 280-megawatt generating capacity, the facility is composed of  2,200 mirrored parabolic trough collectors spread across two square miles of desert in this community located 14 miles northwest of Barstow.
The computer controlled parabolic troughs represent an improvement on earlier thermal solar generating systems, which concentrate the suns rays on a water-filled edifice, which creates steam to drive a turbine.
At present, the facility is putting out less than half of its full megawatt capacity. Abengoa, a global technology company based in Seville, Spain with U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, says the Mojave Solar Plant will eventually deliver enough electricity to serve 91,000 California households, while preventing the emission of  223,500 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.
“We are proud to contribute to the effort to make this world a better place,” Abengoa CEO Armando Zuluaga Zilbermann said during the inauguration. “Climate change is clearly one of the most important challenges that humankind has ever had to face. Almost every day seems to bring news of more threats to life on Earth due to the growing climate-change related impacts. There is an urgency to take more serious steps to reduce CO2 emissions.”
California’s Mojave Desert provides an ideal showcase for renewable energy efforts, Zilbermann said. “I’ve been to many places in the world,” he said. “There’s no place like California for the number of renewable resources that we have. We have great wind sites. We have some of the best solar power. We have earthquakes giving us a lot of geothermal power and we have a vast amount of biomass. There’s is no place in the world with that combination of resources.”
The project was heavily subsidized by the federal government, which in 2011 provided Abengoa with a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for the Mojave project through the Department of Energy’s Federal Loan Guarantee Program.

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