Mildura Solar Tower

A solar tower, to be used as an alternative energy source under construction near Mildura, Australia, is set to be completed by late 2005 or early 2006.

The Solar Tower will be one kilometer high, becoming the world's tallest man-made structure, along with a base of 120 meters in diameter (the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground's playing surface).

The idea was conceived by engineer-inventor Professor Jorg Schlaich, who built a 200 meter-tall prototype in Spain in 1983. The project, led by EnviroMission will contain thirty-two turbines, each of which will produce 6.25 MW, making for a 200 MW structure in all.

Besides providing energy for an estimated 200,000 homes, the Solar Tower will include an observation deck at the top, to increase tourism revenue. Also, new British technology has allowed for robot-assisted construction techniques for safe completion of the monumental structure.

EnviroMission claims the Tower will recoup the energy costs in its materials and construction in thirty months, and after that, it will make up for 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide which would be emitted from a coal-fired power station of equivalent energy output.