The founder of Apple Computers, the first woman in space and a Hollywood actor and activist joined officials from a Spanish company dedicating a solar power generating station Friday in the Nevada desert.
Acciona executives say the 400-acre Nevada Solar One project
provides enough electricity to serve 14,000 homes, and demonstrates
the viability of commercial-scale concentrating solar power
production in the United States.
"We launched this project in Nevada because of the existing solar resources and the capacity to provide a significant portion of the electricity consumed by a city like Las Vegas in the hours of peak demand," Acciona chairman and chief executive Jose Manuel
Entrecanales said in a statement.
Apple founder Steve Wozniak, former NASA astronaut Sally Ride
and actor Ed Begley Jr. joined Entrecanales and other Acciona officials at the 64 megawatt mirror farm about 20 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.
Company officials say Nevada Solar One is among the largest
concentrating solar power plants in the world, and the first of its
kind to be built in more than 16 years.
Covering an area of more than 200 football fields, it has 182,000 curved mirrors that track and concentrate the sun's rays to heat an oil that then boils water into steam, driving an electric turbine.
Acciona Energy North America chief executive Peter Duprey said the system, which became operational last June, demonstrates the value of solar power as a clean energy source in the Southwest United States.
"We expect Nevada Solar One to be just the beginning of a long term commitment to expand the solar industry in the United States," he said.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)