A huge solar farm with molten salt storage is ready to go live in Arizona


Abengoa SolanaAfter almost three years of construction, $2 billion in funding, a controversial Department of Energy loan guarantee, and 2,000 jobs created, a large and unique solar farm about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona, is now ready to produce power. This is Solana, developed by Spanish engineering powerhouse Abengoa, and it uses hundreds of parabolic-shaped mirrors that concentrate the suns rays to produce electricity as well as an industry first deployment of molten salt-based thermal energy storage technology.

Most of the solar farms that use these types of mirrors and lenses to concentrate sun light to produce heat and drive turbines, are turning to energy storage technologies to produce power when the sun goes down or behind a cloud. But Solana is the first one to actually start using it in the U.S. In contrast to this type of concentrating solar technology, solar panels convert the sun’s light directly into…

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