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The solar panels will put out 1.6 megawatts of power, and will be the largest solar panel installation on a corporate campus in the US. The roofs of the four main buildings of the “Googleplex” will be covered by solar panels, while some car parks will be shaded by them.
The world's biggest solar-power plant -- that's what Stirling Energy Systems could soon be building in California's Mojave Desert. The Phoenix-based upstart last week won a major commitment from Southern California Edison (SCE.PB ).
For 20 years, the utility will buy all the electricity that Stirling can generate at a 500-megawatt (MW) solar-energy farm near Victorville. Previously, the most ambitious plan for solar power was the 12-MW Solarpark Gut Erlasse, near Arnstein, Germany.
What will sprout on Stirling Energy's 4,500-acre desert farm? Thousands of giant dish-shaped mirrors. Each 37-foot-diameter dish will track the sun and focus its heat rays on an oil-barrel-size contraption suspended in front, like the antenna on a satellite-TV dish. Inside the barrel, the heat will be harnessed to drive a small, 25-kilowatt power generator. If local power lines can be upgraded to handle even more juice, Stirling Energy could enlarge its farm to 850 MW, and SoCal Edison would take all of that, too.