For Immediate Release: March 17, 2010
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989


Staff Assessment out for the Abengoa Mojave Solar Project

Sacramento - The staff of the California Energy Commission has released its assessment of the proposed 250-megawatt Abengoa Mojave Solar Project in San Bernardino County.

The solar generation facility, planned on privately owned, fallow agricultural land nine miles northwest of the town of Hinkley in San Bernardino County, would help meet California's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The staff assessment (SA) on the project said further analysis would be needed in the areas of air quality, biological resources, soil and water resources, transmission engineering and waste management.

With the exception of soil and water resources, the document concludes that with the implementation of recommended mitigation measures, the project would comply with all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations and standards. The project proposes to use water for power plant cooling, a plan that does not conform to Commission policy on water use.

Areas of concern pointed out by the document will be discussed at public workshops scheduled for April 6, 2010 in Sacramento and April 7, 2010 in Barstow. Based on input received from the workshops and comments from the official parties to the review proceeding and the public, staff will publish a supplemental staff assessment. The supplemental SA will finalize conditions of certification to reflect areas where staff, the applicant and the parties have reached agreements.

The SA provides detailed environmental impact analysis required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). It represents the Energy Commission staff's thorough and independent assessment of the project's potential impacts on the environment, public health, and safety.

The Staff Assessment is not a decision or proposed decision on the planned facility. It will serve as staff's testimony at the evidentiary hearing on the project to be scheduled by the hearing officer and the committee of two commissioners reviewing this case.

The project proposed by Mojave Solar LLC, a limited liability company of Abengoa Solar Inc. of Delaware, is a 1,765 acre solar-thermal energy facility that will implement parabolic trough technology using solar power to boil a heat transfer fluid (HTF). The hot HTF generates steam in solar steam generators, which expands through a steam turbine generator to produce electrical power from twin, independently operated solar fields, each feeding a 125-MW power island.

The sun will provide 100 percent of the power supplied to the project through solar-thermal collectors; no supplementary fossil-based energy source (natural gas) is proposed for electrical power production.

If approved by the Commission, the project would start construction in December 2010, with commercial service by the fourth quarter of 2012.

Mojave Solar, LLC has a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric.

For more information on the Abengoa Mojave Solar Project, click on:

# # #