Mind & Matter


Solar Tower Proposed for Arizona Desert

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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.



Comments (1 Total)

  • Posted by: Solarpanels | Time: 3:40 AM Thursday, October 04, 2012

    Solar tower in Arizona Desert is like a containing more and more energy to avoid to all concept. It will be visible for miles should seek to represent the best in art as well as science and technology with our growing decade. Our whole team organizers liked this creativity very much and try to do extra like you.

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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.