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New solar tower in Arizona will be world’s second-tallest structure

The Arizona desert will get a solar tower that’s just barely shorter than the world’s tallest building. And that may not even be the coolest part.

It’s difficult to imagine building something a half-mile high, almost 1,000 feet higher than the tallest building in the United States. A structure that not only brings clean energy to more than 150,000 homes, but connects the earth and the sky in a way not even the highest flying object can, like a flag on the moon the pinnacle reminding us that a human like us put that there.

Rising more than 2,600 above a vast Arizona desert plateau, the solar tower built by Australia-based EnviroMission in 2012 will become the second-highest structure in the world. But while the view is nice, its potential for becoming an incredible clean energy source looks even nicer.

It will power 150,000 homes, emit zero pollution, and require virtually zero maintenance. It’s expected to last more than 80 years. And it only costs $750 million–expected to be paid off in only 11 years.

I think this is a desert roadside attraction worth stopping for.

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