Alternate Energy
Solar Power

Advanced Parabolic Trough Pilot Project
Boulder City, Nevada

Credit: UNLV
Project Description

Solargenix is constructing a 64 MW solar plant near Boulder City, Nevada, that utilizes an advanced parabolic trough design.  This project was initiated to test some of the necessary component engineering work prior to the start of the 64 MW plant installation.  As part of the work, two Solar Collector Assemblies (SCA's) are being erected, exclusive of the receiver tubes and only partially outfitted with parabolic mirrors, so that mechanical testing can be completed, proper fit and function can be demonstrated, and installation methods can be verified and improved.  Receivers and additional parabolic mirrors may be added at a later time so that the SCA's can also be tested for thermal performance in the future.  Included in the equipment to be tested at the site are Advanced Local Controllers (AdLoC's), which have been newly developed, to control the sun tracking of the parabolic troughs using a new hydraulic-based drive system.

Credit: UNLV

As part of the scope of work for the project, data logging instrumentation is needed to measure and record weather, solar insolation, battery voltages, and tracking parameters of the SCA's.  Because of the remote location of the test site and the absence of utilities the instrumentation is solar powered and uses cellular technology to transmit the data to a web-based data collection system with real time capabilities.  This website was developed to give access to the data and the real time displays.

Credit: UNLV
Site Location

U.S. Highway 95 to Searchlight, Nevada, runs north-south through Eldorado Valley and at the northern end of the valley it intersects U.S. Highway 93 approximately half the distance between Boulder City, Nevada and Henderson, Nevada.  Traveling south from the intersection, 12.3 miles, the Solar Test Facility is located on Eldorado Valley Drive approximately 2 miles west of U.S. Highway 95.


Nevada Solar One
Planning for Future Power Needs in the Sun Valley, Idaho Area – Part VII

An aerial view of Nevada Solar One. The site takes up about 300 acres and contains 760 mirror arrays measuring about 100 meters each. Roughly 184,000 mirrors are installed at Solar One, a [64-megawatt] solar thermal plant that will go live next month in Boulder City, Nev. The mirrors direct sunlight on an oil-filled tube. The oil is then used to create steam, which turns a turbine.

People standing under one of the mirror arrays.

The world’s third-largest solar power plant is located south of here in Boulder City, Nevada. The plant, owned by a Spanish company, produces around 64 MW (Mega Watts) of electricity which is enough to power 40,000 homes. It is located on 350 acres. (As a footnote – the Wood River Valley currently uses just under 120 MW at peak load in the winter.)

Here is a link to an Editorial in the Las Vegas Sun about the plant from this past Sunday.

Here is a link to “The Energy Blog” which has a story about the Boulder City solar plant.


Nevada Solar One
+35° 47' 60.00", -114° 58' 36.00"

Nevada Solar One is the second largest concentrated solar power plant in the world, with a nominal capacity of 64 MW and maximum capacity of 75 MW, as of June 2007. The project required an investment of $266 million USD and electricity production is estimated to be 134 million kilowatt hours per year.

It is the second solar thermal power plant built in the United States in more than 16 years and the largest STE plant built in the world since 1991. It is on the southeast fringes of Boulder City, Nevada. It was built by Acciona Solar Power (formerly Solargenix), a partially owned subsidiary of Spanish conglomerate Acciona Energy. Acciona purchased a 55 percent stake in Solargenix and owns 95 percent of the project. Nevada Solar One is unrelated to the Solar One power plant in California.



A year earlier, Arizona Public Service's Saguaro Solar Facility opened, in 2006, using similar technology, located 30 miles north of Tucson, and producing 1 MW. Nevada Solar One went online for commercial use on June 27, 2007. It was constructed over a period of 16 months. The total project site is approximately 400 acres (0.6 mi² / 1.6 km²), while the solar collectors cover 300 acres (1.2 km2).


Nevada Solar One uses 760 parabolic troughs (using more than 180,000 mirrors) made by Flabeg AG in Germany that concentrate the sun's rays onto thermos tubes running laterally through the troughs and containing a heat transfer fluid (solar receivers), in contrast to the power tower concentrator concept that California's original Solar One project uses. These specially coated tubes, made of glass and steel, were designed and produced by Solel Solar Systems as well as by Schott Glass in Germany. Motion control was supplied by Parker Hannifin, from components by Ansco Machine Company. The plant uses 18,240 of these four-meter-long tubes. The heat transfer fluid is heated to 735 °F (391 °C). The heat is then exchanged to water to produce steam which drives a conventional turbine.

Solar thermal power plants designed for solar-only generation are well matched to summer noon peak loads in areas with significant cooling demands, such as the southwestern United States. Using thermal energy storage systems, solar thermal operating periods can be extended to meet base load needs. Given Nevada's land and sun resources the state has the ability to produce more than 600 GW using solar thermal concentrators like those used by Nevada Solar One.

Nine parabolic concentrator facilities have been successfully operating in California's Mojave Desert commercially since 1984 with a combined generating capacity of 354MW for these Solar Energy Generating Systems. Other parabolic trough power plants being proposed are two 50 MW plants in Spain (see Solar power in Spain), and a 100 MW plant in Israel.

It has been proposed that massive expansion of solar plants such as Nevada Solar One has the potential to provide sufficient electricity to power the entire United States.

SOURCE: Wikipedia Nevada_Solar_One

Update Images Sept 2011
  1. ACCIONA’s Nevada Solar One — Demonstrating the Commercial Competitiveness of Solar Energy
  2. Technology News Daily. Nevada Solar One
  3. tility-Scale Solar Plant Goes Online in Nevada
  4. Arizona Utility to Buy Power from a 280-Megawatt Solar Power Plant - EnergyVortex
  5. Acciona Energía website
  6. ACCIONA invests 220 million euros in a solar thermal electric power plant in Nevada (USA) (in Spanish).
  7. Raising Arizona’s renewable power
  8. Reed Construction Data Visit: Reed Construction Sites Reed Connect. Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  9. Flabeg AG - solar power mirror installations
  10. Solel website
  11. Schott AG - special glass tubing
  12. Nevada Solar One Fact Sheet" (PDF)
  13. Spain Pioneers Grid-Connected Solar-Tower Thermal Power p. 3.
  14. Nevada Solar One Goes Online
  15. Israeli company drives the largest solar plant in the world
  16. David Comarow, "Here Comes the Sun," Kyoto Planet Sustainable Enterprise Report, Nov. 2008 Whitepaper.
See Also:

Amonix Solar Power Projects
University of Nevada Las Vegas Solar Demonstration Facility
Credit: Nevada Renewables

Amonix Integrated High Concentration Photovoltaic

Amonix's 25 kilowatt Integrated High Concentration Photovoltaic (IHCPV) solar power system is installed at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Solar Demonstration facility.

The system features five modular IHCPV MegaModules, each rated at 5 kilowatts. The system is connected to the local power grid, but could be used in remote locations where grid power is not available.

SOURCE: Nevada Renewables

AMONIX Corporate Office

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