For Immediate Release: September 27, 2010
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Public workshops to be held September 28 and September 30 on Rice Solar Energy Project

What: California Energy Commission staff will hold public workshops for the proposed 150-megawatt Rice Solar Energy Project in eastern Riverside County.

When: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 and Thursday, September 30, 2010, both beginning at 9 a.m.

Where: 3 North Conference Room D, California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California on September 28

3 North Conference Room E, California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California on September 30

Arrangements have been made for people unable to attend the hearing to participate by telephone. For details, click the following link:

Why: The Energy Commission staff with the participation of the Western Area Power Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will conduct two workshops for the Rice Solar Power Project. Other participating agencies include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game.

The workshops will provide an opportunity to discuss the staff assessment/draft environmental impact statement and provide the chance to resolve remaining issues and identify information needed to supplement the record.

The September 28 workshop will discuss engineering technical areas and could include: air quality, alternatives, hazardous materials, noise and vibration, public health and safety, soil and water resources, traffic and transportation, transmission line safety and nuisance, waste management, worker safety and fire protection, geology/paleontology/minerals, and transmission system engineering.

The September 30 workshop will focus on environmental areas and could include: biological resources, cultural resources, land use, socioeconomics, and visual resources.

The Rice Solar Energy Project proposed by Rice Solar Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of SolarReserve, LLC will be located 15 miles northeast of Vidal Junction and about 40 miles northwest of Blythe. The project will be on 1,410 acres of a 2,560-acre parcel of private land located south of State Route 62. A generation tie line will be located primarily on BLM land.

The project is a concentrating solar thermal power project with a central receiver tower, sun-tracking heliostat field, and an integrated thermal storage system using molten salt as the heat transfer and storage medium. A large field of mirrors or heliostats concentrates and focuses the sun's energy onto a central receiver. The project uses thermal energy storage that allows solar energy to be captured throughout the day and retained in a liquid salt heat transfer fluid. When electricity is generated, the hot liquid salt is routed to heat exchangers to heat water and produce steam. The steam is used to generate electricity in a conventional steam turbine cycle.

More information on the proposed project is at:

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