According to the press release, “BrightSource Energy, Inc., developer of utility scale solar power plants, today announced that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its Record of Decision (ROD) for the company’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. With today’s BLM decision, the Ivanpah project now has all of the necessary permits to commence construction.
During his weekly national address on Saturday, President Obama lauded the economic benefits of the Ivanpah project: “With projects like this one, and others across this country, we are staking our claim to continued leadership in the new global economy. And we’re putting Americans to work producing clean, home-grown American energy that will help lower our reliance on foreign oil and protect our planet for future generations.”
“Ivanpah is one of several renewable energy projects in the pipeline that will help California and this nation build a clean energy economy,” Secretary Salazar said in signing the Record of Decision. “With this project, we are making great strides toward meeting the President’s goals for creating new jobs for American workers, reducing carbon emissions, promoting energy independence and strengthening our national security.”
“Today’s announcement is great news for California because this project will power 140,000 homes with clean electricity and create hundreds of jobs,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “The construction of this large-scale solar project is further evidence that reliable, renewable and pollution-free technology is here to stay. I applaud the Bureau of Land Management’s decision and I look forward to more decisions that will help grow our green economy, promote energy independence and strengthen our national security.”
“Today’s action by the BLM reflects utility-scale solar’s vital role in meeting our nation’s environmental and economic goals,” said John Woolard, President and CEO of BrightSource Energy. “We’re thankful for the BLM staff’s thoughtful review of Ivanpah, and humbled by the opportunity to start construction on this transformative project. Ivanpah is setting the bar for environmental design, creating great jobs for California’s High Desert communities, and its low-cost, reliable power will have a meaningful impact on helping California meet its climate change goals.”
Jointly reviewed with the California Energy Commission, the project received its state permits on September 22, 2010. In February 2010, BrightSource received a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy for $1.37 billion in loan guarantees to support the financing of the Ivanpah project.
The Ivanpah Project: Clean Energy, Union Jobs, Environmentally-Responsible Design
Once completed, the 392 megawatt (gross) Ivanpah project will nearly double the amount of solar thermal electricity produced in the United States today. The approximately 3,500 acre project is located in San Bernardino County, in southeastern California. When constructed, the project will:
- produce enough clean energy to power 140,000 homes
- reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 400,000 tons annually, the equivalent of taking more than 70,000 cars off the road
- create more than 1,000 local union jobs at the peak of construction
- provide $650 million in employee wages over its first 30-year life
The power generated from these solar plants will be sold under separate contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE). PG&E will purchase approximately two-thirds of the power generated at Ivanpah and SCE will purchase approximately one-third. In all, BrightSource has contracted with PG&E and SCE to deliver more than 2,600 megawatts of electric power.
Read more: Press Release