For Immediate Release: April 11, 2013
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Workshop to be held April 17 for Palen Solar Electric
Generating System Amendment

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission staff will hold a workshop for the proposed Palen Solar Electric Generating System amendment.

When: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, beginning at 10 a.m.

Where: California Energy Commission, Hearing Room B, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California.

Arrangements have been made for people unable to attend the workshop to participate by telephone and/or computer. For details, click the link and scroll to page 5:

Why: The workshop is being held to allow Commission staff, the applicant, intervenors, interested agencies, and the public to discuss technical issues. The issues scheduled for the workshop are: biological resources; soil and water resources; traffic and transportation; transmission system engineering; and visual resources. Solar flux will be discussed at a separate workshop.

The workshop is an opportunity for the public to comment or ask questions about the project and the Commission's environmental review of the amendment.

What: In December 2010, the Commission approved the 500-megawatt (MW) Palen Solar Power Project, which would use parabolic trough technology. In December 2012, the new owners of the project filed an amendment with the Commission requesting to change the technology from parabolic trough to solar power tower.

The applicant for the amended project, now called the Palen Solar Electric Generating System, is Palen Solar Holdings, LLC, a joint venture of BrightSource Energy, Inc. and Abengoa.

The proposed project consists of two 250-MW solar plants for a total of 500 MW. Each plant would have about 85,000 heliostats for a total of 170,000 heliostats. Heliostats are elevated mirrors used to focus the sun's rays on a solar receiver which produces steam to generate electricity. The solar receiver would be located atop a 750-foot tall power tower near the center of each solar field.

The project site is located about 10 miles east of Desert Center, halfway between Indio and Blythe, in eastern Riverside County. The applicant is seeking a right-of-way grant for approximately 5,200 acres of federal public land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

In addition to the technology change, the amended project was reconfigured to 3,794 acres, a smaller footprint than either of the two alternative configurations approved in the original Commission decision.

If the Commission approves the Palen amendment, construction would start the fourth quarter of 2013 with commercial operation in June 2016. The estimated capital cost for the project would be $2 billion. The project would average 998 workers during construction with a peak of 2,311. Up to 100 workers would be needed when the project is operational, according to the applicant.

More information on the proposed Palen amendment can be found here:

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