If the 19th century is the century of coal and the 20th century that of nuclear, then the 21st century is that of solar. Many large corporations, including Tesla, Apple, and Google, have recently shown a keen interest in investing in the energy solution of the future. Keeping with this trend and recognizing the need for sustainable energy alternatives is Barrick Gold’s solar farm in northern Nevada.
The Barrick Solar Farm, located 15 miles east of Reno, began commercial operations in 2008. The eight-acre installation provides power to the plant’s internal loads, namely the generator oil recirculation and heating pumps, and to the auxiliary plant services such as heating, ventilation systems, and lighting. Construction for the project – from project approval to system commissioning and start up and completion – took approximately 9 months.
Barrick’s solar farm in north Nevada. The 1.0-megawatt solar photovoltaic system was incorporated into the existing 115-megawatt gas-fired Western 102 power plant.
Northern Nevada’s focus on geothermal power development has allowed the Barrick solar photovoltaic project to grow and become the largest solar project in the area. The project not only cuts energy costs but minimizes operation costs by making use of pre-existing electric transmission lines that serve the gas-fired plant next door.
The Barrick solar project has proven that sustainability and financial viability can coexist in the energy production sector. On behalf of Blue Sky Solar Racing, we would like to once again extend our sincerest gratitude to Barrick Gold for supporting our team and helping us reinvent the future of sustainability.