Construction of 370-MW Ivanpah Concentrated Solar Power park halfway completed

Solar Thermal.

US utility NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), BrightSource Energy Inc and construction group Bechtel said Monday they were halfway through the completion of construction of their 370-MW Ivanpah concentrating solar power (CSP).

The companies said also that over 2,100 construction workers were currently engaged in the USD-2.2-billion (EUR1.8m) project, which is expected to be completed in 2013 as planned.

The Ivanpah CSP project is located on approximately 3,500 acres (1,416 ha) of land in California’s Mojave Desert managed by the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project consists of three individual power plants which will feature BrightSource Energy’s solar thermal power tower technology. Upon completion, the project is expected to almost double the US production of solar thermal electricity.

The electricity generated at Ivanpah will be sold ?o Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) under separate power purchase agreements. PG&E will start buying electricity from the park’s first unit in mid 2013, while the electricity generated by the two other units will be sold to Southern California and PG&E starting in late-2013. According to its developers, the project will power over 140,000 average Californian households and businesses.

Google has invested USD 168 million in the project while NRG Energy provided USD 300 million through its NRG Solar unit.