|Enough power for a Christmas tree?|
The $2 billion project is operated by NRG Energy Inc., which owns the plant along with Google and crony capitalist BrightSource Energy. It is backed by--wait for it--by $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the federal government.
So-called renewable energy? Steam from natural gas-powered boilers, originally thought to be needed to jump-start the facility for an hour, is actually needed for about 4 1/2 hours each day. The complex operates at full capacity for an average of 8 1/2 hours daily.
More from AP:
The largest solar power plant of its type in the world — once promoted as a turning point in green energy — isn't producing as much energy as planned.Clouds is the desert? Of course it happens even in one of the sunniest places in America.
One of the reasons is as basic as it gets: The sun isn’t shining as much as expected.
Sprawling across approximately 5 square miles of federal desert near the California-Nevada border south of Las Vegas, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened in February, with operators saying it would produce enough electricity to power a city of 140,000 homes.
So far, however, the plant is producing about half of its expected annual output for 2014, according to calculations by the California Energy Commission.
If a massive solar energy plant fails to produce adequate power in the Mojave desert, is there a place on the planet where it can?