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Fire-damaged solar-thermal power plant damaged could be back on line soon

PRIMM — Officials say the huge Mojave Desert solar-thermal power plant damaged last week by fire could be back on line within three weeks.

David Knox, spokesman for plant operator NRG Energy, said Wednesday that mirrors misaligned during maintenance focused sunbeams in such a way that fire was sparked May 19.

Knox says new safeguards will prevent the problem from recurring at Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.

The sprawling plant uses mirrors to focus sunlight on boilers at the top of three 459-foot towers, creating steam that drive turbines to produce electricity.

The plant on the California-Nevada border is the largest of its kind in the world.

Nobody was injured in the fire.

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