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Mott Mac to study energy options for next-generation telescope...

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) has appointed Mott MacDonald to conduct a “comparative study of energy alternatives” for ESO's planned observatory in the Atacama desert in Chile. The observatory will house the “European extremely large telescope” (E-ELT), whose eye alone will boast a diameter almost half the length a football pitch, designed to gather 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes currently in operation. Mott MacDonald has already completed a feasibility analysis, in the process identifying 14 energy alternatives worthy of further investigation. These include supply from grid power, thermal generation (gas turbines, diesel engines) as well as renewable hybrid systems (solar PV, solar CSP, wind and fuel cells).

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