New Arizona solar tower to be twice as high as Empire State Building

An Australian based company has plans to build a massive solar tower in Arizona's La Paz County.

This massive structure from EnviroMission will be twice as tall as the Empire State building at 2,600 feet, making it the second tallest building in the world, just under the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, according to company officials.

It is being created to collect power from the sun, without any manpower and nearly no maintenance for 80 years. It will create enough for 150,000 homes with its 200 megawatt power generation capacity.

Here's how it works:

It's basically a huge solar tower. It collects the sun's energy much like a greenhouse. The air is warmed under the greenhouse-like structure. Hot air rises, so once that air is warmed it will rise through the long tower in the center. There are also turbines at the base that generate power as well from the natural updraft of the air.


It works with any kind of weather, day and night. Hot deserts are the best environment to work in, so unused desert land can be utilized. The tower requires very little maintenance. It will not emit any pollution.


It is estimated it will cost EnviroMission $750 million to build. It's expected to run at an efficiency of 60 percent.

The energy output of the massive solar structure has already been purchased by the Southern California Public Power Authority for 30 years. This will provide enough power for 150,000 homes.

The tower is expected to pay off its purchase price in only 11 years, but they expect the tower to last more than 80 years. The tower is supposed to go up by 2012.

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