14 April 2011  – Google said it will invest US$168 million investment in Brightsource Energy’s Ivanpah solar power plant in the Mojave desert in California.

According to Treehugger, the the solar farm will have a capacity of 392 MW, or the equivalent of “taking more than 90,000 cars off the road over the lifetime of the plant., projected to be more than 25 years.

“The solar farm will use heliostat mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy onto a tower where the heat will generate steam that makes a turbine spin. Power towers are very efficient because all those mirrors focus a tremendous amount of solar energy onto a small area to produce steam at high pressure and temperature (up to 1000 degrees F).

“The Ivanpah Power Tower will be approximately 450 feet tall and will use 173,000 heliostats, each with two mirrors. Construction began last fall and should end up 2013.

“Part of Google’s motivation is to help the solar power sector reach maturity faster (the more you build, the faster you reach economies of scale).”