The Persian Gulf of Solar Energy

John Davis

abengoa.gifArizona is being touted as becoming the “Persian Gulf of solar energy,” as a Spanish company unveils plans to build a three-square-mile sized solar power plant in the desert.

This story on CNN says when it is done, it will be one of the largest solar plants in the world:

Abengoa Solar, which has plants in Spain, northern Africa and other parts of the U.S., could begin construction as early as next year on the 280-megawatt plant in Gila Bend — a small, dusty town 50 miles southeast of Phoenix.

The company said Thursday it could be producing solar energy by 2011.

Abengoa would build, own and operate the $1 billion plant, named the Solana Generating Station.

Solana will be enough to supply up to 70,000 homes at full capacity.

What makes this plant unique is that it relies on the sun’s heat… not the rays… to produce electricity. And with temperatures that soar to 120 degrees, there will be no shortage of a “feedstock” for this renewable energy source.