For Immediate Release: November 15, 2013
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Palen Solar Electric Generating System Project
Evidentiary Hearing Scheduled for November 22

What: The California Energy Commission committee reviewing the proposed amendment to the Palen Solar Electric Generating System Project will hold an evidentiary hearing.

When: Friday, November 22, 2013, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Where: California Energy Commission, Hearing Room B, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Why: The evidentiary hearing will focus on air quality and greenhouse gases. Previous hearings were held on October 28 and October 29.The hearings establish the factual record that the committee reviewing the project will use to issue a proposed decision. The proposed decision will be presented to the full Commission for final action.

Those unable to attend the hearing can participate by telephone and/or by computer by visiting this site:

Background and Next Steps: In December 2010, the Commission approved the 500-megawatt Palen Solar Power Project using parabolic trough technology. In December 2012, the new project owner 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 known as 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. 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 that 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 is located about 10 miles east of Desert Center, halfway between Indio and Blythe, in eastern Riverside County. It is located on 3,794 acres of public land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which is separately reviewing the project.

The estimated capital cost for the project is $2 billion. Construction is expected to last 33 months. 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 project owner.

# # #

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies. For more information, visit: or

Sign up for California Energy Commission news releases at