For Immediate Release: August 25, 2010
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989
California Energy Commission Licenses First Solar Thermal
Power Plant in 20 Years
SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission today approved the construction of the proposed Beacon Solar Energy Project, the first solar thermal power project permitted in 20 years.
"Today's action begins the journey of increasing clean renewable energy in California," said Energy Commission Chairman Karen Douglas.
Douglas served as the presiding member of the committee that reviewed the plant's application for certification.
In a unanimous vote, the Energy Commission adopted the presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD) that recommended licensing the 250-megawatt facility in eastern Kern County.
The last solar thermal power plants that the Energy Commission approved were Luz Solar Electric Generating Systems (SEGS) IX and Luz SEGS X in February 1990.
The PMPD for the Beacon Solar Energy Project said the facility, as mitigated, will have no significant impacts on the environment and complies with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards. The PMPD was based solely on the record of facts that were established during the facility's certification proceeding.
Beacon Solar, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, would construct, own, and operate the proposed plant. The project is a concentrated solar electric generating facility on approximately 2,012-acres in eastern Kern County on the western edge of the Mojave Desert, four miles from California City and 15 miles north of the town of Mojave.
The project will use well-established parabolic trough solar thermal technology to produce electrical power using a steam turbine generator fed from a solar steam generator. The solar steam generators receive heated heat transfer fluid from solar thermal equipment comprised of arrays of parabolic mirrors that collect energy from the sun.
The federal government and the State of California have established the need for the nation and state to increase the development and use of renewable energy in order to enhance the nation's energy independence, meet environmental goals, and create new economic growth opportunities.
# # #