MAP: Concentrating Solar Power Across the United States

on February 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

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Take a look at our latest interactive map, charting the location of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants across the country.

CSP plants generate clean, renewable electricity on a massive scale. These facilities use mirrors to collect the sun’s energy and convert it into heat. The heat from the system is then used to drive a turbine, generating electrical power. Check out our Energy 101 video for more details on how these innovative renewable power systems work.

Since many new CSP plants will be coming online in 2014, the map above displays both plants in operation and under construction. The latest facility to come online is Ivanpah — the world’s largest CSP plant. Fully operational starting today, Ivanpah can produce enough renewable electricity to power nearly 100,000 homes.

Another key element of our new map is the CSP energy potential gradient — using warm and cool colors to show the areas of the country where the solar resource potential is highest. The map shows the average annual daily solar radiation for all 50 states. As you’ll see on the map, large-scale CSP plants are being deployed in the southwestern United States, where ample amounts of sunshine are the daily norm.

Learn more about each CSP facility by clicking on the icons in the map’s legend. Once you’re done exploring the map, take a moment to view our new slideshow of concentrating solar plants in action.