For Immediate Release: August 21, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Attention Editors:

Workshop on Beacon solar energy project August 25

Energy Commission staff will conduct an issue resolution workshop for the proposed 250- megawatt (MW) Beacon Solar Energy Project in Eastern Kern County. Members of the public are invited to attend.

When: Monday, August 25, 2008, from 11am to 3pm, with a lunch break from 1p.m. to 1:30pm

Where: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California

Who: The workshop will discuss potential project-related impacts to the desert tortoise, Mojave ground squirrel and other protected species. The public workshop will be the first of at least two staff issue resolution and/or data response workshops to discuss project-related biological resource impacts.

Why: Following the workshops, staff will consider the responses and comments it receives, and if necessary submit more data requests in preparing a preliminary staff assessment containing an initial analysis of issues and recommendations for mitigation and conditions of certification.

What: Beacon Solar LLC plans to develop the solar thermal generating complex in Kern County. The Project is planned for the western edge of the Mojave Desert along California State Route 14, about four miles from California City and 1.5 miles from the town of Mojave. The project would be situated on 2,012 acres of private land that used to be an agricultural site and would produce electricity using parabolic through solar thermal technology.

If licensed by the Energy Commission, the solar thermal facility will begin construction in the third quarter of 2009, with commercial operations targeted for the third quarter of 2011.

Throughout the project's 12-month licensing review, the Energy Commission will conduct public workshops and hearings on the proposed plant to determine whether it should be certified for a license and under what set of conditions.

More information on the Beacon Solar Energy Project is available at:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/beacon/index.html

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