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Fri01302015

A.D.B. extends $100 million loan for India’s solar power projects

A.D.B. extends $100 million loan for India’s solar power projects

The Asian Development Bank is extending loans of up to $100 million to aid in pr...

Nebraska Supreme Court, House of Representatives supporting proposed Keystone pipeline route

Nebraska Supreme Court, House of Representatives supporting proposed Keystone pipeline route

Despite misgivings from the public and the White House, proponents of the Keysto...

Obama will not sign Keystone Pipeline bill

Obama will not sign Keystone Pipeline bill

President Barack Obama will not sign the Keystone Pipeline bill, saying that it ...

Senvion completes offshore wind farm over Christmas

Senvion completes offshore wind farm over Christmas

Senvion completed the installation of wind turbines for the Nordsee Ost offshore...

Vestas to supply wind turbines in Greece and Chile

Vestas to supply wind turbines in Greece and Chile

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas ended 2014 with two supply contracts: on...

U.N. chief hails results of C.O.P. 20

U.N. chief hails results of C.O.P. 20

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the results of the recently ...

Manufacturer’s perspective on the new U.S. emissions reduction target

Manufacturer’s perspective on the new U.S. emissions reduction target

The United States manufacturing sector may be opting for a more diversified way ...

Business

Technology

Advantage of green cloud computing

Advantage of green cloud computing

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Green computing is the usage of computing resources in an energy- and resource-efficient manner. Part of it is using computers that have been Energy S...

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Politics

Living Green

Eco -friendly Flooring

Eco -friendly Flooring

Friday, 30 January 2015

The term eco – friendly is usually associated with high prices, dull and boring materials and lack of variety. Luckily, the reality is completely diff...

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Renewables

Hereford Wind Project in Texas begins commercial operations

Hereford Wind Project in Texas begins commercial operations

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The 200-megawatt Hereford Wind Project in Texas has achieved commercial operation. EDF Renewable Energy, which purchased shares of the project in 2013...

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Low-Carbon

Seven eco-friendly home heating solutions

Seven eco-friendly home heating solutions

Friday, 12 December 2014

Environmentally friendly home heating solutions are valuable for the planet, and can lower your utility bills. With the numerous home heating alternat...

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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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