The largest solar power plant in the world will open in California's Mojave Desert. Unlike conventional photovoltaic systems, this solar thermal facility generates heat. 170,000 mirrors, stretching over 3,500 acres, reflect direct sunlight toward 3 towers filled with water, raising temperatures to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The water turns to steam, spinning turbines that generate electricity. The electricity generated is enough to power more than 140,000 homes during the peak hours of the day.
BrightSource Energy, the company overseeing construction, claims the use of sunlight, instead of fossil fuels, will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 400,000 tons per year. A highly efficient location, the desert region receives reliable sunlight 330 to 350 days per year, according to the Smithsonian.
Is this technology suitable for Malaysia? The answer mostly is No! This is because solar thermal technology requires "direct sunlight" to operate. Malaysia's weather is mostly cloudy. During cloudy day we will only get "diffused sunlight" and the "mirrors" will not be able to collect and reflect it toward the tower.