Partnership at Palen: BrightSource Inks Deal with Abengoa

The 500 megawatt (MW) Palen solar thermal power system will use proven solar thermal tower technology to produce clean, reliable solar electricity to more than 200,000 homes.

Located in Riverside County, California, the two-unit power system will be built on approx. 3,800 acres and will create more than 2,300 jobs for construction workers and support staff.

The project is being co-developed by BrightSource Energy and Abengoa. Abengoa will build the plants as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor, and will lead the operation and maintenance (O & M) of the plant once online. BrightSource will provide the solar technology and plant design.

The Palen site has received authorization from the California Energy Commission (CEC) for construction and operation of a 500 MW parabolic trough technology project. In December 2012, BrightSource filed to amend the existing permit to replace the permitted trough technology with a lower impact, lower cost power tower technology. The CEC is currently reviewing the request to amend. The project site is located within an approved Solar Energy Zones (SEZ).

Fact Sheet
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A 500 megawatt solar complex using mirrors to focus the power of the sun on solar receivers atop power towers.

  • Located on approximately 3,800 acres of public land in Riverside County, CA, approx. 36 miles west of Blythe, CA and 10 miles east of Desert Center, CA.
  • The electricity generated by the two plants is enough to serve more than 200,000 homes in California during the peak hours of the day.
  • The complex will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 17 million tons over its 30 year life cycle.
  • Preliminary economic studies of the Palen project indicate that it will create more than 2,300 construction jobs at the peak of construction and approximately 100 operations and maintenance jobs.
  • Total employee earnings are estimated at nearly $650 million. The project will also generate over $200 million in local and state tax revenues and approximately $200 million in Federal Royalties.
  • Palen is expected to be complete and producing electricity in 2016.