This solar installation known as the Palen project will be the tallest recorded in the world at the point of construction.
Reasoning behind the height of the solar power towers is that it enables significantly more heliostats to be employed, which have the potential to generate more energy per unit. In addition to that, it will also be more space efficient then installing multiple smaller sized photovoltaic (PV) system. By using a much smaller footprint it is believed that these solar towers will likely use up to 33% less land then what might be used with a more regular solar array farm.
On completion of the Palen project is it expected to be able to generate sufficient energy to power up to 200,000 households, while at the same time being able to cut harmful emissions of CO2 by approximately 17,000,000 tons over the course of its life-span.
It will be situated Riverside County, California which is a designated solar energy zone.
The process of acquiring the right development and construction permits are currently underway, with a planned date to begin the project ear marked for the last quarter of 2013. It is believed that the construction phase will include creating 2000 additional jobs in the local area once the project gets underway.
Abengoa and BrightSource Energy are expecting the mega 500 MW solar collectors to take at least three years to complete, and therefore the expected date for the system to go online is 2016.
In the planning stages of the Palen system, the two companies provided a design that will require a total footprint for the construction at 3800 acres; leaving sufficient space on the same solar energy zone for other renewable energy projects.
The various construction procedures will be split between the two companies. Abengoa will be involved in constructing the plants and the construction, procurement, and engineering contractor, and will head the role in relation to the maintenance and operation of the solar project once up and running. BrightSource will be taking centre stage in relation to providing to the solar plant design and field technology.