NRG Solar’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is now operational and delivering solar electricity to California customers. At full capacity, the facility produces a gross total of 392 MW. Ivanpah is a joint effort between NRG, Google, and BrightSource Energy and Bechtel is the EPC contractor on the project. The project received a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office. The facility achieved commercial operation on December 31, 2013.
Abengoa and BrightSource Energy signed an agreement to jointly develop, build, and operate what the companies say will be the world’s two largest solar power towers at a site in California. The companies expect jointly to permit and finance the 500-MW Palen Solar Electric Generating System. Abengoa will build the plants as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor, and will lead the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the plants once online. BrightSource will provide the solar field technology and plant design.
A senator’s crusade limits America’s options.
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe has made it his mission to block environmental regulations, especially greenhouse gas constraints. His most recent attack targets John Bryson, former Edison International CEO and Pres. Barack Obama’s nominee for Commerce Secretary. But rather than protecting economic interests, as Inhofe purportedly aims to do, his actions have added to the ongoing policy chaos that frustrates clean coal development.
Solar projects are becoming hot investments.
With recent scale-up in both photovoltaic and concentrated thermal facilities, solar energy is nearing cost parity with wind and even some fossil generation sources. And with development models evolving to help companies manage technology risks, solar power has become an attractive investment opportunity—not just for tax-equity players, but also for utilities.
Manufacturers scale up for utility applications.
Photovoltaics technology is emerging as a generation alternative—both for centralized and distributed facilities. Solar industry executives say their companies are overcoming obstacles to large-scale implementation. With advances in design and manufacturing, the future looks bright for utility-scale solar power.
Technologies are scaling up quickly to meet industry needs.
Like other California electric utilities, San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has been scrambling to meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which requires suppliers to obtain at least 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2010. Though the RPS includes a variety of technologies, renewables developers are choosing utility-scale solar power more than any other resource, says Hal La Flash, PG&E’s director of emerging clean technologies.