From the L.A. Times:
A generating tower at the world’s largest solar energy plant was shut down Thursday after a mirror misalignment caused sunlight to burn through electrical wiring and start a small fire, according to officials.
The blaze at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert broke out around 9:30 a.m., according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. In a Facebook post, officials said that flames could be seen near the ninth floor of the Unit 3 tower, but that they had apparently died out by the time firefighters arrived.
Some misaligned mirrors instead focused sunlight on a different spot, which caused the electrical cables to catch fire, San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Mike McClintock told the Associated Press.
The fire at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Systemin California forced firefighters to climb 300 feet up the tower to a water boiler that’s superheated by tens of thousands of mirror to create steam to run a turbine.
According to an AP report, San Bernardino County fire Capt. Mike McClintock said the small fire occurred about two-thirds of the way up the boiler tower. It was caused after some of the plant’s mirrors became misaligned and focused the sun’s rays on electrical cables, which caught fire.
h/t to Stand Stendera
The plant had been plagued by production problems, and state utility regulators had threatened to shut it down if it didn’t get back on track. They gave it a temporary reprieve.
It has been on track according to recent reports, but this latest setback may derail that effort.