http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Artic le_Type1&c=Article&cid=1076022610921&call_pageid=970599119419 Feb. 6, 2004. 01:00 AM Australian project to dwarf CN Tower Solar plant will rise 1,000 metres over outback "My God, that's tall," says CEO of Toronto structure CHRISTIAN COTRONEO STAFF REPORTER Time is ticking away for the world's tallest tower. Ever since Canadian National built its 553.33-metre monument to this country's industry in 1976, the CN Tower has owned the top of the world. But it may not for much longer. An energy company plans to poke another hole in the sky by September, 2005, with a tower nearly twice as tall on the border between New South Wales and Victoria, near the southern fringe of the Australian outback. At 1,000 metres, the EnviroMission supertower will be crammed with turbines and used as a clean, renewable energy provider. It has already received approval from all levels of government, and construction plans have been finalized. As if erasing Toronto's defining monument from the record books isn't enough, the company plans to build four more towers over the next few years. "It's got nothing to do with building the world's tallest," stressed EnviroMission CEO Roger Davey in a phone interview from Australia. "It's got everything to do with producing as much power as we possibly can." For what it's worth, the CN Tower may still be able to boast of being the tallest tower in a metropolitan setting. "If you take a look at us, we define the Toronto skyline," said CN Tower CEO Jack Robinson, pointing out the tower's role in fundraising events and the 2 million visitors it receives each year. "I guess there's always going to be somebody going after the record. But we've held the designation since '76 as the world's tallest building. We're pretty proud of that." Along the way, the CN Tower joined the Panama Canal, Golden Gate Bridge and Empire State Building in being designated modern wonders by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Still, there may always be something to be said for sheer spectacle. "My God, that's tall," Robinson said, musing over the specs for the newest tower on the block. "Can you imagine being up there?" The EnviroMission supertower doesn't quite work with the urban landscape. It needs a lot of room on the ground for the clear canopy that spreads 7 kilometres in diameter from its base. This greenhouse-like shell traps air and allows the sun to heat it. Once the hot air rises, it's pushed up the tower, like a chimney, twitching turbines to life along the way. Designers expect the solar tower to produce enough electricity for 200,000 homes. But "it's not to crush the Canadian spirit," said EnviroMission spokesperson Kim Forte.