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


Workshop on October 28 and
prehearing conference and evidentiary hearing
on October 29 for Rice Solar Energy Project

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission will hold a workshop on October 28 and a prehearing conference and evidentiary hearing on October 29 for the proposed 150-megawatt Rice Solar Energy Project. The public is invited to participate.

When: Thursday, October 28, 2010, beginning at 10 a.m.
Friday, October 29, 2010, beginning at 9 a.m.

Where: 2nd Floor Fishbowl Conference Room, California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California on October 28

Hearing Room B, California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California on October 29

For those unable to attend in-person, you may participate by telephone and/or by computer.

On October 28: Teleconference number is 1-866-469-3239, Meeting number is 927 969 883 #

On October 29, click to page 4:

Why: The workshop will allow an opportunity to discuss the staff assessment/draft environmental impact statement prepared by Western Area Power Administration, the federal Bureau of Land Management, and Energy Commission staff. It will also provide a chance to resolve remaining differences between the parties, which are anticipated to be on the topics of cultural resources and worker safety and fire protection.

The prehearing conference will assess the parties' readiness for the evidentiary hearing. At the prehearing, all parties (staff, applicant, and interveners) will present their respective positions regarding the substantive topic areas ready for evidentiary hearing, the topics that require further analysis, the topic areas that have been resolved, and the topic areas that are disputed and require adjudication. The parties will also identify proposed witnesses and time required for direct testimony and/or cross-examination.

The purpose of the evidentiary hearing is to establish the factual record upon which the Commission will decide the case, based on written or documentary evidence from the official parties to the proceeding.

After the hearing, the committee reviewing the project will consider the recommendations presented by staff, applicant, interveners, government agencies, and the public prior to proposing its decision to the full five-member Energy Commission for deliberation and final consideration.

What: The Rice Solar Energy Project is being proposed by Rice Solar Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of SolarReserve, LLC. The facility will be located 15 miles northeast of Vidal Junction and about 40 miles northwest of Blythe in eastern Riverside County. The project will be on 1,410 acres of a 2,560-acre parcel of private land located immediately south of State Route 62. A 161-kilovolt generation tie line and substation would be located partly 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 17,500 mirrors or heliostats concentrates and focuses the sun's energy onto a 638-foot-tall central receiver. The project uses thermal energy storage that allows solar energy to be captured throughout the day and retained in a molten 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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