In El paso, Texas, the University of Texas at El Paso, (UTEP) has had a solar pond producing power since 1986. The El Paso Solar Pond project, a research, development, and demonstration project initiated by UTEP in 1983. It has operated since May 1986 and has successfully shown that process heat, electricity, and fresh water can be produced in the southwestern United States using solar pond technology. An organic Rankine-cycle engine generator was installed on site in 1986, making it the first in the U.S. to generate grid connected power, producing up to 70kW. Most of this power has been delivered to Bruce Foods Corporation for peak power shaving. This demonstrates one of the primary benefits of solar ponds: power on demand — even at night or after long periods of cloudy weather.
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