The Shams Power Company opened its Shams 1 concentrated solar power station this week in Abu Dhabi. The station generates 100MW, and it can power 20,000 homes while reducing CO2 emissions by 160,000 tonnes per year.
Not to be outdone, two companies in California proposed solar towers yesterday that will generate 500MW and power about 200,000 homes. But the Shams 1 project still holds the biggest solar station title for now. The project took about two years and $US600 million to build. Shams 1 has 258,048 parabolic mirrors that collect sunlight which hits heat-transfer fluid and then flows through tubes to a heat exchanger. This process creates steam, which powers turbines to generate electricity.
On the energy front, the United Arab Emirates is mostly known for oil and natural gas, but that doesn't mean they can't build the largest solar station in the world in two years. Look, if you have the desert space you might as well go big. [TreeHugger]