Construction Highlights: October and November
With over a year under our belt, construction of the Ivanpah SEGS plant continues to progress on schedule. The nearly 1,000 workers on site have accomplished a great deal over the past two months – the Unit 1 structural tower is nearly complete, the heliostats are being assembled and placed onto pylons in the field, Unit 2 continues structural tower erection and has commenced pylon insertion and the Unit 3 structural tower is nearly ready for the foundation pour. Below are a few highlights from October and November.
In the Common Area, commissioning of equipment in the Heliostat Assembly Building and the Pad Bonding Buildings are in the final stages. In October and November, heliostats were produced and production significantly ramped-up in December. In 2012, we anticipate hundreds of heliostats will be assembled and installed each day. Additionally, we began construction of the permanent administration buildings.
At the Unit 1 solar field, pylon installation continues, with over 40,000 pylons currently in place – over 75% of the total 50,000+ pylons that will be installed in the Unit 1 solar field. Each pylon will eventually carry one heliostat consisting of two large mirrors. The pylons are inserted directly into the ground, without any grading or concrete, allowing vegetation to coexist in the solar field. Pylons are arranged in concentric circles around the tower so that the heliostats can track the sun.
The Unit 1 tower reached roughly 300 feet by the end of November. Currently, eight out of nine tier steel sections of the tower are in place. The final steel section and the solar receiver steam generator (SRSG, or boiler) are being built on the ground and will be lifted by crane into place in coming months. Once complete, the structure, including the boiler will stand at 450-feet.
In the Unit 1 power block area, work on the steam turbine and air-cooled condenser (ACC) is progressing rapidly. The steam turbine and generator have been set on the foundation and assembly has commenced. The ACC allows Ivanpah to be “dry-cooled” versus wet-cooled, reducing water usage by more than 90% over competing solar thermal technologies using conventional wet cooling systems. The supporting structure of the ACC is under construction.
Three steel sections are in place at the Unit 2 tower which stands at 120 feet. Once the 4th section is stick built, the remaining sections of the tower that are being built on the ground in the power block area, will be lifted into place by crane. Concrete placement for the ACC foundation is also underway in the power block. Pylon installation has commenced in the Unit 2 solar field.
At Unit 3, first concrete was achieved this month with the placement of foundation at the plant services building base mat. The steam turbine and tower foundation pours are expected to be complete by year-end. In the Unit 3 solar field, fencing, clearing and roadwork continue.