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Fri08282015

Hong Kong’s policy on environment-friendly commercial vehicles to tighten

Hong Kong’s policy on environment-friendly commercial vehicles to tighten

Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department will be tightening its qualifyin...

Philippines’ new wind farms add 303 MW to country’s power supply

Philippines’ new wind farms add 303 MW to country’s power supply

Two new wind farms in the Philippines have added 303 megawatts of clean energy t...

Geneva talks require “business unusual” approach – W.W.F.

Geneva talks require “business unusual” approach – W.W.F.

A “business unusual” approach is needed in the Geneva Talks to successfully deli...

New battery uses old batteries for greener energy storage

New battery uses old batteries for greener energy storage

Energizer has developed the world’s first high-performance battery made with rec...

Global warming to bring more devastating weather patterns

Global warming to bring more devastating weather patterns

The United Nations World Meteorological Organization confirmed that global warmi...

Jamaica to get 36.3 MW wind farm by 2016

Jamaica to get 36.3 MW wind farm by 2016

A 36.3 megawatt wind farm in Jamaica has received $62.7 million in funding from ...

A.D.B. provides Thailand with $85 million to develop wind power plant

A.D.B. provides Thailand with $85 million to develop wind power plant

The Asian Development Bank will be providing a company in Thailand loans to deve...

Business

Georgia taking leadership role in developing solar power

Georgia taking leadership role in developing solar power

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The state of Georgia is emerging as a leader among the 50 states in promoting and implementing the use of solar energy, in part because of both busine...

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Technology

Penn State develops CPV system for rooftops

Penn State develops CPV system for rooftops

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Researchers at Penn State have developed a concentrating photovoltaic system that is small enough and light enough to be mounted on a building’s roof....

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Politics

New draft text for climate agreement in Geneva reached

New draft text for climate agreement in Geneva reached

Monday, 16 February 2015

A new climate change draft text has been reached during the one-week United Nations-facilitated Geneva talks, leading to a binding treaty that is expe...

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Living Green

Wall-to-floor eco-friendly interior design

Wall-to-floor eco-friendly interior design

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The materials you surround yourself with—from flooring and window coverings to furniture and accessories—have a great impact on the health of your hom...

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Renewables

Vestas supplies Poland, U.K. with turbines

Vestas supplies Poland, U.K. with turbines

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced that they have secured orders this week for two projects in Poland and the United Kingdom. The orders c...

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Low-Carbon

PG&E plans ambitious E.V. charger roll-out in California

PG&E plans ambitious E.V. charger roll-out in California

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

An estimated 25,000 electric vehicle chargers could be deployed in California by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. PG&E is seeking permission from Cal...

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Opinion

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger, said Benjamin Franklin once, is the best pickle. Some say “pickle”...

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BrightSource plans to build third solar thermal power plant, world’s largest to date

BrightSource plans to build third solar thermal power plant, world’s largest to date
BrightSource has filed with the California Energy Commission last Friday seeking certification to develop the Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating System on Riverside County. Photo by BrightSource

Still building its first solar power plant and having just applied to construct its second last August, solar thermal startup BrightSource Energy Inc. is moving ahead to build another 750-megawatt solar power plant in California.

BrightSource has filed with the California Energy Commission last Friday seeking certification to develop the Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating System on Riverside County, California, 13 miles southwest of Blythe.

Rio Mesa will be BrightSource's third and largest utility-scale solar thermal project in the world to date.

The solar farm is divided into three facilities each generating 250 MW using mirrors to focus sunlight on a boiler on top of a tower, producing steam to drive an electric turbine. It will collectively generate enough electricity to power more than 300,000 homes and create over 2,500 jobs, according to a statement.

Most of the 5,750 acres of land where Rio Mesa will be built is owned by the Metropolitan Water District and the rest by the United States Bureau of Land Management. As such, it will also need a permit from the B.L.M. before it can start construction.

The company declined to disclose the customer base for Rio Mesa but Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison could be possible clients based on past deals. BrightSource has 14 power purchase agreements equal to 2.6 gigawatts with California's two largest utilities.

The Oakland-based company is actively building utility-scale solar projects in recent months partly to meet demand created by California's stringent renewable energy mandate. The law requires utilities to get 33 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

BrightSource said it expects Rio Mesa to be operational by 2016, according to a statement.

Learning from the past

BrightSource began building its first solar thermal plant, the 392-MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System last October but could have started sooner after environment-related concerns slowed down progress.

Issues including land and water use and its impact on endangered species of desert tortoise and plants took state and federal regulators more than three years for to approve the Ivanpah project. After serious delays in April, the project is now expected to go online by 2013.

To avoid problems that have swamped Ivanpah, Brightsource engineers revamped the design of their solar farms to minimize land use starting with the 540-MW Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System which was filed with California regulators for review in August this year.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

Both Hidden Hills and Rio Mesa will use a new plant design that raises the height of the tower from 450 feet used in the previous plant to 750 feet. This will help install heliostats closer together aligned at a steeper angle, reducing land use by 33 percent compared to a typical solar photovoltaic power plant or a solar thermal plant with parabolic troughs

BrightSource on August announced it would start offering molten salt storage in its power plants to extend its operating hours past sunset. The company did not mention if Hidden Hills or Rio Mesa will use the system but would most likely depend on the request of its customer.

The company did not disclose how much the two solar plants will cost, but it is current actively looking for project financing. BrightSource filed for an initial public offering in April this year and is expecting to raise $250 million.

For Ivanpah, it has secured private capital that included a $300-million commitment from NRG Energy and $168 million from Google, as well as a $1.6-billion federal loan. The company is backed by other prominent blue-chip investors including Chevron's venture arm Chevron Technology Ventures, British Petroleum Technology Ventures, VantagePoint Ventures Partners, and French energy giant Alstom. (Oliver M. Bayani)



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