Genesis Solar Energy Project

Docket Number:

09-AFC-08 (Application For Certification)
09-AFC-8C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational:
Unit 2, November 30, 2013.
Unit 1, March 7, 2014.

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on September 29, 2010. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

James D. Boyd, Vice Chair, Presiding Member

Robert B. Weisenmiller, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Kenneth Celli

Key Dates

  • 8/31/2009 - Application for Certification (AFC) filed
  • 11/4/2009 - Commission accepts AFC as "data adequate."
  • 3/26/2010 - Commission and BLM staff release Staff Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
  • 8/19/2010 - Committee releases Presiding Member's Proposed Decision.
  • 09/29/2010 - Commission approves Application For Certification.
  • 11/30/2013 - Unit 2 on line and producing power.
  • 3/7/2014 - Unit 1 on line and producing power.


picture of what parabolic troughs will look like

Genesis Solar LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra™ Energy Resources LLC, submitted an Application for Certification (AFC) to the California Energy Commission on August 31, 2009, to construct, own, and operate the Genesis Solar Energy Project. The project is a concentrated solar electric generating facility that would be located in Riverside County, California.

The project consists of two independent solar electric generating facilities with a nominal net electrical output of 125 megawatts (MW) each, for a total net electrical output of 250 MW. Electrical power would be produced using steam turbine generators fed from solar steam generators. The solar steam generators receive heated transfer fluid from solar thermal equipment comprised of arrays of parabolic mirrors that collect energy from the sun.

The project would use a wet cooling tower for power plant cooling. Water for cooling tower makeup, process water makeup, and other industrial uses such as mirror washing would be supplied from on-site groundwater wells. Project cooling water blowdown will be piped to lined, on-site evaporation ponds.

The project is located approximately 25 miles west of the city of Blythe, California, on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project is an undeveloped area of the Sonoran Desert. Surrounding features include the McCoy Mountains to the east, the Palen Mountains (including the Palen/McCoy Wilderness Area) to the north, and Ford Dry Lake, a dry lakebed, to the south. I-10 is located to the south of the project facility. The Chuckwalla Mountains and Little Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness Areas are also located farther south-southwest. The project area is currently undisturbed, although the area has been used for grazing and off-highway vehicle recreation in the past. Ford Dry Lake was formerly open to the public for off-highway vehicle use but has since been closed.

Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

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