Nevada gets nation’s first solar power plant factory

solar field
Green Wombat: Nevada gets nation’s first solar power plant factory

Green Wombat reports Silicon Valley startup Ausra is building the U.S.’s first solar power plant factory.

When the 130,000-square-foot facility goes online in April outside Las Vegas, robots will assemble mirror arrays and other equipment that will then be trucked to solar power plant building sites in California and the Southwest. Ausra, backed by venture capitalists Vinod Khosla and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, signed a deal with utility PG&E (PCG) in November to supply electricity generated by a 177-megawatt solar thermal power station to be built on California’s central coast…

The facility marks the emergence of Nevada as a player in the solar power industry. “We see Nevada as one of the best markets for solar power,” says O’Donnell. “It has the business climate, the solar resource and a rapidly growing market for electric power. The main reason for being here is the combination of a transportation center, a workforce and a central location for where we think all the power plants will be. We looked at locations in California, Phoenix and here. Taking the five-year view, we would like to build a lot of power plants in the Southwest so we asked, Where is the best location? What are the transportation options?”