BrightSource Finalizes $1.6 Billion
BrightSource Energy, Inc., a solar thermal energy company, recently announced that it has closed financing for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. Ivanpah is the world's largest solar project under construction and when completed in 2013 will nearly double the amount of solar thermal electricity produced in the U.S. today.
As part of the financing, BrightSource finalized $1.6 billion in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office. The company also announced that Google will join NRG Solar LLC and BrightSource as an equity investor in the project by making a $168 million investment. In October 2010, NRG Solar LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, announced its commitment to invest up to $300 million to become the lead investor in the project. NRG's investment commitment coincided with BrightSource's engineering partner, Bechtel, commencing construction on the project.
The Ivanpah project is located on approximately 3,500 acres of federal land managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project is a 392 gross-megawatt solar power facility consisting of three separate solar thermal power plants. When constructed, the project will produce enough clean energy to power 140,000 homes. 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 approximately 2,600 megawatts of electric power. The project received its state permits from the California Energy Commission and federal permits from the BLM in September and October 2010, respectively.
BrightSource and Bechtel, the engineering and construction contractor for the Ivanpah project, estimate that construction of the Ivanpah project will require approximately four million job hours of work and 1,000 union jobs at the peak of construction. In December 2009, Bechtel signed a project labor agreement with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) and the Building & Construction Trades Council of San Bernardino and Riverside counties to ensure that California's local workforce benefits from the project. The project will also provide $400 million in local and state tax revenues, and produce $650 million in wages, over its first 30-year life.
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs