Dry lake will be solar pond to make electricity

Alternative energy got another boost recently when the Southern California Edison Company announced it will establish a solar pond on a dry lake in California's San Bernardino County.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, the project is designed to produce 48,000 kilowatts from solar-heated salt water, which will activate special turbine generators.

The $20 million effort is supported by the California utility and Ormat Turbines Ltd., an Israeli organization that has been a world pioneer in solar-pond technology.

Two plants of this kind have been built in Israel. Southern California Edison plans to expand this type of electricity production further if the pilot effort succeeds.

The Danby Lake, Calif., project is expected to deliver about 12,000 kilowatts (sufficient to supply electricity to about 7,500 customers) by 1985. Additional future capacity will be added gradually.

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