Climate Central has an article on the recent growth spurt of solar thermal power in the US - Electricity Generated Using Solar Mirrors to Double in 2013.
The EIA projects that the solar thermal generating stations expected to come online this year, each funded by U.S. Department of Energy loans, will generate about 641 megawatts of electricity, which will add to the current 476 megawatts of solar-thermal capacity in the U.S. prior to the new plants starting operations. Later this year and in 2014, a total of six new solar thermal projects are expected to begin operating, generating a total of 1,257 megawatts of new power generating capacity. Those projects will represent 4 percent of all new additions to U.S. electric generating capacity for 2013 and 2014, according to EIA data.
The two largest solar thermal power plants beginning operation this year are Abengoa Solar’s 250-megawatt Solana power plant in Gila Bend, Ariz., and BrightSource Energy’s 392-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California’s Mojave Desert. Both plants are larger than any other solar thermal generating station ever built in the U.S. “They’re a new breed,” said EIA solar power analyst Gwen Bredehoeft. “There’s going to be a lot of interest in watching how they perform.”
Until the technology and economics of solar thermal are proven, little growth in capacity is exp