• 06.13.09

Flower Power: World’s First Hybrid Solar-Gas Turbine Turning on Soon


The world’s first solar hybrid power plant is set to open on June 24 at Kibbutz Samar outside Eilat in southern Israel. When operating at full capacity, the flower-like AORA plant will supply 100 kilowatts of electric power–enough for 70 households–and 170 kilowatts of solar thermal energy. AORA’s strucutre is based on technology developed at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science.

The modular, scaleable plant is made up of 30 mirrors (heliostats) that track the sun and direct it to a 30 foot tall tower, which heats up the energy to 1000 degrees Celsius and directs it to a 100-kilowatt gas turbine that feeds solar power to the grid. The microturbine can be run on solar thermal, biodiesel, natural gas, and biogas.

Since the plant is hybrid, it could theoretically power off-grid systems in developing communities. And since it only takes up half an acre of land, the plant could be used in areas that lack space. As of right now, though, AORA hasn’t reached any deals with other countries for solar hybrid power plant distribution.

[AORA via Environmental Protection]AS