BrightSource Files Application
by Benjamin Romano
Solar power tower technology and project developer BrightSource Energy is planning a 750MW project in Riverside County, California.
The company has filed an application with the California Energy Commission (CEC) for the Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility, which would consist of three 250MW power tower plants.
The project follows three others BrightSource has in California: The 29MW (thermal equivalent) enhanced oil recovery project at a Chevron oil field in Coalinga; the 392MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, under construction near the Nevada border; and the 500MW Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System, recently accepted for CEC review.
Rio Mesa would employ the taller, 750-foot (229m) towers that BrightSource plans at Hidden Hills, allowing greater energy output on a smaller piece of land.
The project would occupy 5,750 acres (23.3sq km) near Blythe, most of which are owned by the Metropolitan Water District. Some is owned by the Bureau of Land Management, meaning the project will require review at the federal level as well.
BrightSource says the parcel has been disturbed in the past. It was a military training area during the World War Two and was once identified as a site for a nuclear power plant.
While BrightSource is developing storage technology, it does not plan to incorporate it in the Rio Mesa plants, a spokeswoman tells Recharge.
The company says it will supply power from the plant to one of its utility customers under an existing power purchase agreement, but the customer is being held confidential.
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