The exact megawattage of the added solar panels has not been determined. The Obama administration opened 20 million acres of the Mojave Desert up to the development of solar energy. Currently, there are 79 projects awaiting approval and another 13 projects already underway. The largest project in construction is BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.
This project, which is funded by a $1.6 billion loan, will supply energy to more than 140,000 homes. This project uses solar thermal power which utilizes mirrors to concentrate solar rays, heat water, and create steam which is used to turn turbines. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will be the largest system of its type upon completion.
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