BrightSource Energy President and CEO John Woolard, says, “We’re grateful for the CEC staff’s diligent work, and the committee’s thoughtful and timely recommendation to approve the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. We look forward to a final decision from the Commission when we can begin constructing the Ivanpah project, providing good jobs for the High Desert community, producing clean energy for the state’s homes and businesses, and creating a model for environmentally-responsible energy projects.”
The committee’s approval begins a 30-day public comment period, after which the full California Energy Commission votes on a final decision. The Ivanpah project is also being reviewed by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is expected to issue its final environmental impact statement. BrightSource anticipates beginning construction in fall 2010.
The Ivanpah project plan consists of three separate solar thermal power plants that will produce enough clean energy to power 140,000 homes and reduce annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 400,000 tons, which is equal to removing more than 70,000 cars off the road. The project, which will be built by engineering and construction specialist Bechtel, is expected to create more than 1,000 local union jobs.
Bob Balgenorth, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California says, “Ivanpah is setting a great standard by training and employing the middle class workers that support our state’s economy.”
The power generated from these solar plants will be sold under separate contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric, which will buy around two-thirds of the energy created, and Southern California Edison, which will purchase the remaining third. BrightSource has contracted with PG&E and SCE to deliver more than 2,600 megawatts of electric power.
In order to conserve desert water, the Ivanpah project has planned an air-cooling system that uses just 100 acre feet of water per year, 95 percent less water than wet-cooling.
Amy Davidsen, U.S. Director of The Climate Group, notes, “Large-scale solar technologies provide one of our best hopes for solving the problem of global climate change. To meet this potential, we need to scale up the use of these technologies as soon as possible. Today’s proposed decision recommending approval of the Ivanpah project represents a major step toward the realization of this goal.”
Based in Oakland, California, BrightSource Energy, Inc. is a privately held company with operations in the United States, Israel, and Australia. To learn more visit www.brightsourceenergy.com.