For Immediate Release: February 8, 2012
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Workshop to be held February 13 for
Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission staff will conduct a workshop for the proposed Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility.

When: Monday, February 13, 2012, beginning at 1 p.m

Where: California Energy Commission, Second Floor Conference Room Fishbowl, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California.

Arrangements have been made for people unable to attend the workshop to participate by telephone and/or by computer. For details, click the link and scroll to page 4:

Why: The purpose of the workshop is to allow staff, the applicant, interested agencies, and the public to discuss a number of topics including biological resources as related to bird and bat surveys and the impact to the project schedule. The workshop will also discuss data requests filed by staff in the areas of air quality, alternatives, biological resources, land use, socioeconomics, traffic and transportation, transmission system engineering, waste management, and worker safety and fire protection.

What: The developers for the 750-megawatt (MW) project are Rio Mesa Solar I, LLC, Rio Mesa Solar II, LLC, and Rio Mesa Solar III, LLC, which are subsidiaries of BrightSource Energy, Inc.

The proposed project site consists of three 250-MW solar thermal power plants located on the Palo Verde Mesa in Riverside County, about 13 miles southwest of Blythe. The site is partially on private land and partially on public land administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Commission and BLM plan to conduct a joint state and federal environmental review of the project.

The total area required for the three plants and a common area with shared facilities is about 5,750 acres. Each plant will use heliostats - elevated mirrors guided by a tracking system mounted on a pylon - to focus the sun's rays on a receiver located on top of a 750-foot-tall solar power tower near the center of each solar field. Each plant would use about 85,000 heliostats. Construction of the project, from site preparation and grading to commercial operation, is expected to take place from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016.

The capital construction cost for the project will be about $3 billion. The project will average 1,040 workers per month during the 36-month construction period, with a maximum of 2,493 at the peak. There will be 150 full-time employees when the project is operating.

More information on the Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility can be found at:

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