- The Washington Times - Friday, May 20, 2016

Firefighters had to rush up a 300-foot boiler tower in the Mojave Desert after a blaze broke out at the world’s largest solar thermal power plant.

A tower at California’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) was forcibly shut down on Wednesday after seemingly misaligned mirrors caused cables to burn. The $2.2 billion facility is only working at one-third of its capacity due to a second tower that is undergoing maintenance.

David Knox, spokesman for plant operator NRG Energy, said an investigation was underway to confirm the fire’s origin, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

ISEGS supplies electricity each day to roughly 140,000 Californians during peak hours of energy consumption. It is located on 4,000 acres of federal land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.

The plant uses 173,500 heliostats, each equipped with two mirrors, to focus sunlight on boilers. Heat created by beams of light moves turbines that then produce energy.

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