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Solar power plants in the Mojave Desert

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Sketch of a Parabolic Trough Collector system.

There are several Solar power plants in the Mojave Desert which supply power to the electricity grid. Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is the name given to nine solar power plants in the Mojave Desert which were built in the 1980s. These plants have a combined capacity of 354 megawatts (MW) making them the largest solar power installation in the world. Nevada Solar One is a new solar thermal plant with a 64 MW generating capacity, near Boulder City, Nevada.[1] There are also plans to build other large solar plants in the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Solar Park will deliver 553 MW of solar thermal power when fully operational in 2011.[2]

Insolation (solar radiation) in the Mojave Desert is among the best available in the United States, and some big groups of people are in the area. This makes the Mojave Desert particularly suitable for solar power plants. These plants can generally be built in a few years because solar plants are built almost entirely with modular, readily available materials.


  1. Utility-Scale Solar Plant Goes Online in Nevada Environment News Service, 4 June 2007.
  2. Israeli company to build largest solar park in world in US Ynetnews, 26 July 2007.