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Note that they _do_ heat the plant with natural gas overnight, so there is a huge fire in there somewhere.

Oh really? Why? Is it to keep things at a nominal operating temperature in prep for the next day, or is it to continue generating electricity once the sun has gone down (or other reason)?

>Gas is burned at night to keep the system primed and to heat water used in the tower boilers. This allows electricity production to start up more quickly when the sun comes up each morning, plant operators said. Gas also is burned during periods of intermittent cloud cover.


The steam cycle has to be up and running before sunrise so they can meet their generating obligations, so they have to ramp up with natural gas while it is still dark. The facility is also capable of operating as a dispatchable "peaker" power plant.

There's a huge amount of right-wing disinformation about solar power so if you just Google for "Ivanpah natural gas" you'll get an outpouring of stupid blogs, but reading them will get you close to the truth.

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