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Solar Power Question: What is concentrating solar power?

Answer: The real powerhouse in Concentrating Solar Plants or CSP plants is focused sunlight. CSP plants generate electric power by using mirrors to concentrate (focus) the sun's energy and convert it into high-temperature heat. That heat is then channeled through a conventional generator. The plants consist of two parts: one that collects solar energy and converts it to heat, and another that converts the heat energy to electricity. Within the United States, over 350MW of CSP capacity exists and these plants have been operating reliably for more than 15 years.

The three main types of concentrating solar power systems are: linear concentrator, dish/engine, and power tower systems.

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