Nevada’s Salt Solar Project vs. Solar Panels

Nevada Solar Facts Blog
photovoltaics or concentrated solar power in Nevada
Last Updated: Sept 17,2021

Many new renewable energy innovations have developed over the years. These new ideas have given rise to the emergence of concentrated solar power (CSP).

Nevada’s Crescent Dune Solar Energy Project

Contrary to popular belief, concentrated solar power doesn’t use solar panels. The Crescent Dune CSP generates and stores heat with salt, steam, mirrors, and a receiver.

Mirrors on the ground heat the receiver by redirecting light waves toward it. The heated receiver heats the salt pumped through it. This melted salt then pumps into a steam generator which turns a turbine and produces power.

The theory behind this idea is genius, but in practice, it has had some problems. The Crescent Dune plant had a structural issue in its molten salt tank, causing a leak in 2016 that ultimately shut down the plant until July of 2017.

Their late completion date and year delay clean up and leak fix set them back, but this isn’t everything. This type of power source has also caused bird deaths in California.

Concentrated Solar Power Kills Birds

Because CSP directs sunlight to one central location, the receiver becomes extremely hot. It’s so hot that when birds hit it, they die.

The worst part is that birds get killed regularly. The light reflected off the mirrors and emitted onto the receiver attracts birds. And if the light hasn’t attracted them, then the insects they eat have.

Ivanpah, the salt tower CSP in California, killed over 6,000 birds in one year. Although they have since implemented bird and insect repellents, their effect isn’t certain.

Birds and Solar Panels

Unlike CSP, Solar panels don’t get hot enough to harm birds. Instead, they enhance life and take advantage of unused space.

How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels consist of small light-sensitive cells made from a conductive material. These cells then become encased in glass and metal to protect them from the elements.

Although the cells heat up, the light that hits them isn’t concentrated. As a result, the solar panels don’t generate enough heat to harm anything.

What Makes Residential Solar the Better Choice

When you choose to power your home with photovoltaics, you get a slew of benefits. It’s important to take these factors into account before determining your power source.

Be in Control

Those who purchase residential solar gain control. They don’t have to worry about charges for the energy they produce. And with the addition of solar backup, they can have power in an outage as well.

Solar Savings

One of the selling points for solar is the financial benefits. Solar homeowners can take part in government-funded incentives and ROI savings.

A solar array lasts upwards of 25 years and has minimal upkeep. If you get an array financed through Go Solar Group’s partner, the loan length is typically between 12 and 15 years. Once paid, you don’t have to worry about an electric bill for 10-plus years.

Paying it Forward

Because Go Solar Group has a philanthropic background, we have a broader focus than most solar companies. As a result, a portion of all our installs goes to 1 Heart 1 Mind, our charity counterpart.

Our charity has funded micro-loans to help people living on less than a dollar a day afford solar. Solar replaces kerosene lamps, which are expensive to fuel and decrease health. Providing a way for these individuals to buy and sell solar products has given them the means to enhance their quality of life.

1 Heart 1 Mind has also built a school that houses 60 orphaned children in Uganda. This school, however, has done more than place a roof over their heads. It also provides basic needs, so these children have the best chance to succeed.

Adding solar to your home not only saves money; it also benefits the environment. Through Go Solar Group, you can help the less fortunate as well.


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