Ivanpah did a test run these days and it will soon produce 377 Megawatt energy during the peak hours of the day:
The electricity generated by all three plants is enough to serve more than 140,000 homes in California during the peak hours of the day. The complex will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 400,000 tons per year.
Ivanpah is located in California’s Mojave Desert and construction began 2010, the total cost where 2.2 billion dollar –> $5.84/Watt. That is more than a photovoltaic plant would have cost but the benefit is that solar thermal power plants melt a special salt during day and can use the heat stored in the salt at night to generate steam to power turbines.
The problem with this approach is that these kind of plants are far away and lock up the land. Energy has to travel far and the loss is about 15%.
I still believe that centralized energy generation is a concept of the past and government money has to be funneled into distributed projects.