“The sheer magnitude of the Ivanpah project is reinforcing California’s position as the leader of renewable energy in the United States,” said Caroline Fletcher, USC Green Symposium Co-Chair. “The project has demonstrated an innovative approach to partnerships and is significantly contributing to job creation in the region. We’re very pleased to honor this important project with our 2012 Energy Project of the Year Award.”
“Ivanpah is a flagship project, widely recognized for its environmentally-responsible design, and lauded for its role in helping to grow Southern California’s High Desert economy,” said Joe Desmond, SVP of Government Relations and Communications, BrightSource Energy. “We look forward to completing this important solar power facility and help California meet its economic and clean energy goals.”
“We are pleased to be a part of this award-winning project. The innovation applied to the engineering and construction of Ivanpah will help advance the renewable energy industry and make solar energy a viable option for more people,” said Jim Ivany, president of renewable power at Bechtel.
Ivanpah commenced construction in October 2010 and is expected to begin delivering power to its utility customers PG&E and Southern California Edison in 2013. At the peak of construction, the project will employ over 1,600 construction workers and on-site project support staff.
Technology Provided by BrightSource Energy
Ivanpah will employ BrightSource’s power tower solar thermal technology, which generates power the same way as traditional power plants – by creating high temperature steam to turn a turbine. However, instead of using fossil fuels or nuclear power to create the steam, BrightSource uses the sun’s energy. BrightSource’s system uses a state-of-the-art field of software-controlled mirrors, called heliostats, to reflect the sun’s energy to a boiler atop a tower to produce the high temperature and high-pressure steam. The steam can then be integrated with conventional power plant components to produce predictable, reliable and cost-competitive clean energy. BrightSource’s technology is designed to produce the highest temperature and pressure solar steam in the world.
The Ivanpah solar power facility is located on approximately 3,500 acres of federal land in California’s Mojave desert, managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior‘s Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The 377 megawatt (net output) facility consists of three separate solar thermal power plant that, when constructed, will produce enough clean energy to power 140,000 homes.
The power generated from these solar plants will be sold under separate contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE). PG&E will purchase approximately two-thirds of the power generated at Ivanpah and SCE will purchase approximately one-third. In all, BrightSource has contracted with PG&E and SCE to deliver approximately 2,400 megawatts of electric power.
BrightSource and Bechtel, the engineering and construction contractor for the Ivanpah project, estimate that construction of the Ivanpah project will require approximately over 1,600 union jobs at the peak of construction. In December 2009, Bechtel signed a project labor agreement with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) and the Building & Construction Trades Council of San Bernardino and Riverside counties to ensure that California‘s local workforce benefits from the project. The project will also provide $400 million in local and state tax revenues, and produce $650 million in wages, over its first 30-year life.
An Environmentally Responsible Project
The Ivanpah project will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 400,000 tons annually, which is the equivalent of taking more than 70,000 cars off the road. BrightSource’s system is also designed to minimize impacts on the natural environment. In addition to being one of the most land-efficient renewable energy technologies, BrightSource’s low impact heliostat layout is flexible, allowing the solar field to be built around the natural contours of the land and avoid areas of sensitive vegetation. And in order to conserve scarce water resources, the technology employs an air-cooling system to convert the steam back into water in a closed-loop cycle. By using air-cooling, BrightSource’s technology uses more than 90 percent less water than older technology parabolic trough plants with wet cooling.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world.
BrightSource Energy, Inc. is a leader in the design and development of concentrating solar thermal technology used to produce high-value electricity and steam for power, petroleum and process markets. To learn more about BrightSource Energy and concentrating solar thermal energy, www.brightsourceenergy.com.