Crescent Dunes Solar Beauty

From the window of an airplane high above Nevada, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Facility is a bright flash on the landscape. You can really only appreciate its enormity from the ground: 1,670 acres of desert blanketed with 10,347 billboard-sized mirrors that generate enough electricity to power 75,000 homes.

The power plant sits outside Tonapah, a dot in the desert midway between Las Vegas and Reno. Each mirror is 37 feet wide and 24 feet tall, and focuses thermal energy on a tower filled with molten salt, which is used to generate steam, which spins turbines that generate electricity.


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