PART 1

Supervisors hear update on Solar Tower

By JOHN GUTEKUNST
Parker Pioneer
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:17 AM MST

Developers of a proposed “solar tower” gave an update on the project to the La Paz County Supervisors June 22. Speaking at a work session, Christopher Davey, the president of Enviro Mission, said the company hopes to break ground for the facility late in 2012.

When completed, the facility will consist of a tower approximately 2,000 feet tall and a canopy 2,000 feet in diameter covering the ground at the base of the tower. The sun will heat the air inside the canopy, and the heated air will be sucked into the tower and rise to the top.

The rising air will be used to turn turbines to make electricity. The heated air would then be vented out the top of the tower. More air would be drawn into the system through openings at the base of the canopy.

EnviroMission, which is based in Australia, first presented the project to the supervisors in October 2009. Davey said the concept had been demonstrated and proven at a test plant in Manzanares, Spain. He said the plant they are considering for La Paz County would produce enough electricity for 150,000 homes.