"An interesting tidbit. Despite its desert location, this plant needs 1.7 million m3 of water per year to keep the reflectors clean."
That is not interesting. That is meaningless. 1.7 million m3 of water per year compared to... what, exactly? How much water does a coal/nuclear plant use? How much to mine, refine and transport the coal/uranium? What's that calculated in litres per megawatt hour? What's the tradeoff in terms of emissions and waste?
Also, I found $3.9 billion per 160 MW peak is just for stage one; the total project is projected at $9 billion for 580 MW peak (and NOOR uses molten salt storage - so unlike Ivanpah, the NOOR plants will continue generating power at night). That rather alters the ratio, doesn't it.
As it happens, the amount of water usage is apparently about twice that of a wet-cooled coal plant, though (1) only NOOR's first stage is wet-cooled, (2) the post-process water quality is also important and (3) really, a proper study would examine the complete life cycle of solar vs coal vs nuclear power generation including all ongoing costs (e.g. fuel, emissions, cleanup, etc).
This is supposed to be news for nerds, stuff that matters. I am unimpressed when people offhandedly mention a big-sounding number and then go on to make vague derogatory apples-and-oranges comparisons.