Last week in Bakersfield, California, was launched the first solar thermal plant in nearly two decades. This plant will focus sunlight on tubes that contain water, a different process, compared to other solar photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into electricity. The turbines rotate when the sunlight heats the water and then creates steam.
This solar thermal plant is named Kimberlina and it could supply 3,500 homes in Central California because will generate 5 MegaWatts of power.
For the American Southwest solar technology is particularly well suited, as this region as a big solar energy potential. Air conditioners are responsible for the highest electric demand and a large amount of the electric load.
Ausra, the manufacturer of the solar panels in November, 2007 announced a purchase power agreement for a 177 megawatt solar plant. This solar plant, named Carrizo Plains, is situated in Central California and will generate enough power for 120,000 homes, which is pretty amazing!