by John Haston
There is an interesting interview with David Mills (ex Australian) who is solar entrepreneur in the US. Using venture capital he founded Ausra, a California based company that develops utilitiy scale solar thermal power plants.
From the interview he says, “The whole field of solar thermal electricity makes use of the fact that you can use the suns energy concentrated with a lot of mirrors on to a smaller spot and use that to boil water. That’s what we do in the fields. A solar field is a gigantic boiler basically for water. It converts water into steam and that steam is the same water that goes straight through to the turbine and runs the turbine. We are also developing storage systems which hold the heat overnight so that we can run those kinds of turbines on a night and day basis.
Our smallest solar thermal plant offering is 175 megawatts and its square mile in terms of the units that they use here, about 2.5sq kms. That would probably cost $700m for just one plant.”
the URL for the interview http://beyondzeroemissions.org/2008/03/23/david-mills-ausra-describes-fresnel-concentrating-solar-thermal-storage-technology-baseload-renewable