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Wed08272014

Vestas, EP Global Energy partner for donor-funded wind farm in Jordan

Vestas, EP Global Energy partner for donor-funded wind farm in Jordan

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and private energy asset developer EP Global En...

World Bank commits $5 billion for African renewable energy projects

World Bank commits $5 billion for African renewable energy projects

The World Bank Group has committed US$5 billion towards supporting energy projec...

Seven creative ways to teach your kids about eco-living

Seven creative ways to teach your kids about eco-living

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.1 million jobs in the United States w...

$50 million A.D.B. loan to develop Indonesia’s geothermal potential

$50 million A.D.B. loan to develop Indonesia’s geothermal potential

The Asian Development Bank will provide Indonesia a loan of up to $50 million to...

Iberdrola completes its first three renewable energy projects in South Africa

Iberdrola completes its first three renewable energy projects in South Africa

Iberdrola has completed two wind farms and a photovoltaic power plant in South A...

Former Irish president appointed as special envoy for climate change

Former Irish president appointed as special envoy for climate change

Former Irish President Mary Robinson has been appointed by United Nations Secret...

The truth about the forthcoming endangered cities

The truth about the forthcoming endangered cities

Gone are the days when the term ‘endangered’ was being cascaded to animals or di...

Technology

Water “dirtying” the biofuel production process

Water “dirtying” the biofuel production process

Friday, 22 August 2014

Water is well known as a cleansing agent but – when it comes to biofuel production – too much water is dirtying up the process. Researchers from the U...

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Politics

Living Green

Nature's Herbicides: How to kill weeds without poisons

Nature's Herbicides: How to kill weeds without poisons

Thursday, 21 August 2014

No matter how much time and care you put into your lawn and garden, you're going to have to deal with weeds at some point. Because they're often tough...

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Renewables

Low-Carbon

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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