The world’s largest solar power purchase to date has been announced by Southern California Edison and BrightSource Energy. Within the next few years BrightSource will be building solar power plants that employ mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight on a single receiver. Temperatures at the receiver end will get rather high, as you can imagine, enough so that water will be boiled to make steam that will drive turbines to generate electricity.
The power plants that BrightSource plans to build in the California desert, will rely on hundreds of heliostats to keep light focused on the receiver throughout the day as the sun arcs across the sky. With the wonders of tracking devices made of computer controls and electric gear motors, the mirrored heliostats can be kept in perfect alignment with the receiver from dawn to dusk.
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