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Israel building world’s tallest solar power tower

Construction of what will be the world’s tallest solar power tower is under way in the Negev desert, Israel.

The 820 foot (250 meters) tower will stand in the middle of a 121 MW concentrated solar complex, slated to begin operations by the end of 2017.
Ashalim solar power plant
The Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station is being built and will be operated by Megalim Solar Power Ltd. General Electric is responsible for the engineering behind the project, while Bright Source is providing the advanced solar field technology.

According to EcoWatch, the solar power station will have over 50,000 computer-controlled heliostats or mirrors, to track the sun and reflect its rays to a boiler on top of the tower. The boiler will create super-heated steam that will be fed to a turbine, generating electricity.

The electricity generated by the power station will supply 120,000 homes with clean energy. When completed by the end of 2017, the power station will help Israel to achieve 10 percent of its electricity production from renewable energy sources by 2020.

General Electric, a Megalim shareholder, explained the advantages of the power station in a brochure: “Compared to solar photovoltaic (PV) applications, direct steam CSP has the advantage of being able to produce electricity for longer periods of time during the solar hours. The ability to operate during peak demand times reduces the need for utilities to build power plants to operate only during peak timesࢀ”thereby lowering the overall system’s electricity production costs.”