The Solana Generating Station will use solar trough technology coupled with molten salt thermal energy storage. The plant's rows of mirrors, thermal storage, generating equipment and service areas will cover nearly three square miles. Businesswire Commercial Photo

Parabolic Trough technology bases its operation on solar tracking and the concentration of solar rays on receiving tubes with high thermal efficiency, located on the focal line of the cylinder. In these tubes, a heat transmitting fluid, such synthetic oil, is heated to approximately 752 ºF (400 ºC) by the concentrated solar rays. This oil is pumped through a series of heat exchangers to produce steam. The heat present on such steam is converted into electric energy on a conventional steam turbine.

There are plans to take three square miles of desert in southwest Arizona and turn it into one of the largest solar power plants in the world. Spanish company Abengoa Solar "