A small fire shut down a generating tower at the world's largest solar-thermal power plant, leaving the sprawling facility on the California-Nevada border operating at only a third of its capacity, authorities said.
Firefighters had to climb some 300 feet up a boiler tower at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California after the fire was reported on an upper level around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, fire officials said.
The plant uses mirrors to focus sunlight on boilers at the top of three 459-foot towers, creating steam that drive turbines to produce electricity.
But some misaligned mirrors instead focused sunbeams on a different level of Unit 3, causing electrical cables to catch fire, San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Mike McClintock said.When I was in sixth grade, me and another student built a solar oven to cook hot dogs and hamburgers for end of sixth grade party. I would never have thought of relying on alignment being right, instead of having a metal pan at focal point. More Obama boondoggling.