Solar Tower Proposed for Arizona Desert
EnviroMission's Solar Tower, proposed for Arizona in 2015.
Although the economic recession has but a damper on many large-scale projects, there is one notable proposal that has an especially promising future. Moreover, at 2,625 feet in height, this project would dwarf all but the tallest building in the world—more than double the height of the Empire State Building.
Planned for construction in an Arizona desert by 2015, EnviroMission’s Solar Tower will generate 200 megawatts—enough to power 150,000 U.S. households, and the equivalent to taking 90,000 cars off the road. Originally proposed for Australia but stymied by a lack of government support, the project has been welcomed in the U.S., where it will operate at 60 percent efficiency—more effective than any other renewable source.
While the proposed tower offers many advantages—not the least of which is maintenance-free, pollution-free power—its design would benefit greatly from collaboration with skillful architects. Currently, the tower is nothing more than a massive, engineering-driven infrastructure project. Yet a landmark that stands for a cleaner energy future and which will be visible for miles should seek to represent the best in art as well as science. One hint of an improved design is visible in an early model of the tower that debuted at the Smithsonian—with any luck, EnviroMission will revisit this strategy prior to finalizing their construction plans.