Renewables, Solar

Crescent Dunes Solar Back Online After Eight-Month Outage

By Editors of Power Engineering

After an eight-month outage for repairs, the molten salt-based Crescent Dunes solar facility is now back online.

SolarReserve, owner and operator of the $1 billion, 1,600-acre facility, did not disclose why the facility was down for so long, or the nature of the repairs, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. When the plant originally went offline in December due to a salt leak, SolarReserve estimated it would be back in service by January.

Crescent Dunes uses 10,000 mirrored heliostats to focus sunlight on a 640-foot-tall central tower that heats molten salt inside to over 1,000 degrees, then uses that heat to boil water and drive turbines even at night.

SolarReserve is developing similar solar systems in South Africa and Chile, and plans 10 more towers in Nye County, Nevada under the name Project Sandstone. That facility would have a capacity of between 1,500 MW and 2,000 MW.