Solar Chimney for California?
One of the Alternative Energy Blog's most popular posts was on a proposed solar chimney in Australia (also known as a Solar Tower). It works using the solar chimney to cover a large greenhouse which covers several square miles. As the hot air rises, it would escape up a 990m tower in the centre of the structure. Wind turbo-generators mounted in the chimney would convert this 50km-an-hour rush of hot air into electricity.
Two things I particularly like about the concept are that, firstly it can run almost continuously not just when the sun is out, and secondly it produces a significant (100MW+) amount of electricity. Also as Liam commented "it's the coolest looking power plant I've ever seen" (see the post on the proposed solar tower in Australia for a much bigger and cooler picture). And as Doc Savage says in the next comment it could be a great opportunity for Southern California.
Well now that might just be happening. In an intriguing one line press release Californian company SolarMission has agreed to "build, own, maintain, and operate 2,600 megawatts of solar towers. "
Where and when these towers are going to be built is not specified.
I look forward to more details.
Industrial Info.com press release