SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Facility located near Tonopah Nevada is the first utility-scale facility in the world to feature advanced molten salt power tower energy storage capabilities.
Construction work began in the fall of 2011 with as many as 1,000 workers building the concrete tower and encircling it with the mirrors that follow the sun from sunrise to sunset. The sun’s focused sunlight heats a dense salt solution to extreme temperatures. The molten salt flows down out of the tower into an enormous tank where it it is stored just as if it were energy itself, to deliver electricity via a steam generator to the national power grid.
Crescent Dunes entered into commercial operation in late 2015 now delivers to the grid enough firm, reliable electricity from solar energy, day and night— 110 megawatts plus 1,100 megawatt-hours of energy storage, — to power 75,000 homes whether or not the sun is shining.