The Ivanpah project is on track to become the world’s largest solar thermal power plant.

The Ivanpah project is on track to become the world’s largest solar thermal power plant. The 377-megawatt net solar thermal facility consists of three separate solar power plants. It is located near Ivanpah Dry Lake in San Bernardino County on about 3,500 acres of federal land in California’s Mojave Desert managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The project owners are NRG Solar, Google, and BrightSource Energy.

The California Energy Commission licensed the Ivanpah project in 2010 as part of the Commission’s commitment to support clean renewable energy, reinvigorate the state’s economy and bring jobs to California. The project received a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

See more information about Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.

A construction worker installs a heliostat at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Unit 1 tower and power block Aerial photo of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Solar Electric Generating System.

Photos courtesy of BrightSource Energy



  • The facility will generate enough renewable energy to power 101,000 average California homes each year, based on Commission calculations.

  • The Commission expects the project to reduce approximately 340,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to taking 62,250 cars off the road every year.

  • More than 2,100 jobs were created during the peak of the project’s construction. Another 86 jobs in operations and maintenance will be created when the facility is fully operating.

  • The project will provide approximately $650 million in wages and employee earnings during the plan’s 30 years of operation. It will also provide $300 million in local and state taxes during the same time period.

Type of Project

Solar thermal


Construction on the project began October 2010. The project is slated to have two of its solar units generating electricity by the end of 2013 and the third by early 2014, according to Commission staff.


Map of Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California


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