World’s largest solar plant to go live in California’s Mojave Desert

As the Ivanpah solar energy project goes online on Feb. 13, we reflect on lessons learned that will protect wildlands and advance clean energy.

The Wilderness Society | Link to article

Three large towers rise up from California’s Mojave Desert and cast long shadows like giant sundials. Beneath them, thousands of individual mirrors face upward toward the clear sky, radiating outward into geometric patterns that can only really be appreciated from an aerial view. At first glance, Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System looks almost alien.

Observing the juxtaposition of the Ivanpah project—the world’s largest existing solar plant—and the barren beauty of the Mojave Desert takes some getting used to. This project, which is the first of its kind in terms of size, was part of a push from the Obama administration to expand our nation’s renewable energy sources in an effort to address climate change. It is one of the many projects of its scale that our nation will need to build in as we transition to cleaner sources of energy. The Ivanpah project, developed by BrightSource Energy and operated by NRG Energy, will produce reliable solar electricity to more than 140,000 homes throughout the western U.S.


Tower 2 and its heliostats at sunrise at the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Photo: BrightSource Energy

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