BrightSource withdraws Rio Mesa Concentrating Solar Power project

BrightSource Energy has finally and definitively withdrawn its concentrated solar power (CSP) Rio Mesa project in a brief note sent to the California Energy Commission (CEC).

The 500 MW CSP project, which would have consisted of two concentrated solar power plants each with a capacity of 250MW, was to be located near Blythe in Riverside County, California.

BrightSource originally purchased the project from the now bankrupt Solar Trust of America. In January of this year the company filed a suspension notice stating that it did not yet wish to withdraw the application, but would suspend it for now while the project was evaluated.

Due to the permit process moving along slower than expected, in part because CEC staff requested large amounts of information, this led to a high risk of BrightSource not meeting the requirements of the power purchase agreement, leading it suspend the permitting process.

A similar plant, the Hidden Hills CSP project – which was set to be built in Inyo county – was also suspended last April due to delays in the permitting process at the CEC.

BrightSource is also currently building the 377 MW Ivanpah CSP plant, which NewNet reported was ’92 per cent complete’ on 24 May, earlier this year.