Arizona site for downdraft tower

Developer Solar Wind Energy Tower has set the seal on a 243-hectare plot in Arizona as the site for its maiden downdraft tower installation.

The planned 900MW-plus plant development, built around two 685-metre-high towers equipped with a water-spray systems that create high-speed currents out of temperature changes in the air to turn turbines in their foundations, would flow around 870MWh a day through a grid connection in the city of San Luis.

"These events are major milestones in moving our company from a development stage company to that of a full scale development company," says chief executive Ron Pickett.

"Now that a final site has been selected, we can focus efforts on securing the appropriate development partner and engineers to bring our tower project to life and vision to fruition."

He notes the site was selected "after a substantial evaluation of multiple sites in the southwestern part of the country over a two and a half year period".

The downdraft tower concept was first hatched in the 1980s by US inventor Phillip Carlson and was subsequently developed by researchers including the Israel Institute of Technology’s Dan Zaslavsky and Rami Guetta.