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The Nevada Solar One solar energy plant in the U.S. – at 64 MW, it is the world's third-largest – is prominently featured in National Geographic magazine on the promise of solar energy technology.

The article, “Plugging Into The Sun,” was published in the September issue of the society’s magazine, and is also available on

The groundbreaking plant, which opened near Las Vegas in 2007, includes over 7 million pounds of aluminium extruded tubing and connectors from Hydro (a truckload a day for over seven months).

Nevada Solar One and other “concentrated solar power” plants gather heat from the sun’s rays to make electricity with steam-powered turbines. Aluminium is ideal for structural frames for these massive projects – it is light yet strong and corrosion-resistant.

In addition to Nevada Solar One, Hydro has supplied structural components to several projects in Spain and the U.S. – the latest is a hybrid plant in Florida – and more are on the way.

“By early 2010, we will have delivered aluminium framing material for nearly 300 MW of concentrated solar power energy generation,” says Allan Bennett, Hydro’s vice president of Solar Market Development, “and we are bidding on a lot of new projects that would increase this figure significantly.”

To put it in perspective, 300 MW could supply a city about the size of St. Louis, Missouri!


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