Officials herald U.S. solar-power milestone

$2.2 billion plant in Nevada able to light 140,000 homes

Posted: February 17, 2014 at 2:18 a.m.

Some of the 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors, each about 7 feet high and 10 feet wide, reflect sunlight to boilers that sit on 459-foot towers. The sun's power is used to heat water in the boilers' tubes and make steam, which in turn drives turbines to create electricity Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 in Primm, Nev. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal land near the California-Nevada border, will be opened formally Thursday after years of regulatory and legal tangles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

PRIMM, Nevada — A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the American West.

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Business, Pages 19 on 02/17/2014


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TeleBot a real-life version of RoboCop

Student Jamie Danow, right, 28, looks on as Irvin Cardenas, second from right, 22,  controls a TeleBot, which combines telepresence and robotics, with sensors placed around his body, during a demonstration at Florida International University, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 in Miami. A group of students at FIU's Discovery Lab is testing their version of a RoboCop that will allow disabled police and military personnel to serve as patrol officers. Danow, who lost his right arm in a motorcycle accident in 2006 and can no longer bend his left elbow, is in charge of developing the user interface for people missing their upper extremities. "This is perfect for me," Danow explained he felt before joining the team. "I never could have imagined I would have this opportunity. Things happen sometimes maybe for a reason and you don't realize that." (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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Joint bronze medal winner Bode Miller of the United States makes a jump in the men's super-G at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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