Construction Highlights: August and September 2011
In the Common Area, work in the Heliostat Assembly Building and the Pad Bonding Buildings continue to progress. We continue to ramp-up for production and assembly of the heliostats before they are placed on the pylons in the solar field. The commissioning of machinery is almost complete and we hope to install thousands of heliostats this fall.
At the Unit 1 solar field, pylon installation continues, with over 20,000 pylons currently in place – almost 40% of the total 50,000+ pylons that will be installed in the Unit 1 solar field. Each pylon will eventually carry two flat mirrors (making one heliostat). The pylons are inserted directly into the ground, without any grading or concrete, letting vegetation coexist with the heliostat in the solar field. Pylons are arranged in concentric circles around the power tower so their mirrors can track the sun.
While the number of pylons in the solar field increases each day, the height of the Unit 1 tower continues to grow. Currently, four out of nine total steel sections of the tower have been put in place. Once complete, the structure, including the boiler will stand at 450-foot.
With only a few more tiers to go on the Unit 1 tower and total pylon installation nearing the halfway mark, this unit of the ISEGS is steadily building out toward completion.
Unit 2 has reached its own milestone with the erection of the first structural steel section of the solar power boiler. A large tower crane is being assembled to place the remaining sections of the tower, which are being built in the power block area and then lifted into place. In the Unit 2 solar field, trained desert biologists completed their efforts to move the tortoise remaining on the project site to the temporary nursery pens.
At Unit 3, foundation preparation is underway for the power block area. Once complete, there will be a concrete placement for the tower base followed by the erection of the structural steel. Similar to the cement placements at Unit 1 and Unit 2, the foundation will require approximately 500 truckloads of concrete.