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JIM WEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM WEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Concentrating solar power plant. View past heliostat mirrors (foreground) towards one of the solar receivers (bright) of the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, a concentrating solar power plant in San Bernardino County, California, USA. Concentrating solar power plants use arrays of heliostats (mirrors with sun-tracking motion) to reflect sunlight and concentrate it onto receivers at the top of towers (seen here). The concentrated solar energy is then used to produce electrical power by boiling water to produce steam, which is piped to a steam turbine electricity generator. This facility in the Mojave Desert consists of 173,500 sets of mirrors that focus sunlight on three towers, and generates 377 MW of electricity.
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