Solar Power Saves The Day In Arizona
Arizona Public Service experienced a morning peak for the demand of electricity as a result of the snow in Flagstaff recently. The company was able to meet the demand by using the solar energy that was captured the day before.
Arizona Public Service is supervising a project called Solana which is located in a three square mile patch of desert, and features parabolic mirrors that that focuses the suns energy onto black painted pipes. The pipes then transfer the heat to huge tanks containing molten salt. The molten salt continues to make electricity and steam even after the sun has set.
This method is a revolutionary one which overcomes one of the major shortcomings of solar power, which is making electricity when there is no sunlight. The Solana Project has not gone unnoticed and the Public Utilities Commission in California recently approved a rule that now requires players in utilities and electricity industry alike to install a similar storage by 2024.
Solana is quite powerful, can produce up to 280 megawatts and can gather heat rather quickly. The project costs $ 2 billion and is partially financed by a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.