Friday, February 13, 2009

World's Largest Solar Power Deal Announced By SCE

Southern California Edison and BrightSource Energy have signed the world’s largest solar deal. The agreement on a series of contracts for 1,300 megawatts of solar thermal power, is enough to serve nearly 845,000 homes. The first of these solar power plants, sized at 100 megawatts and located in Ivanpah, California, could be operating in early 2013 and is expected to produce 286,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year. BrightSource will build and place in commercial operation each of its plants as quickly as permitting and infrastructure allow. The full 1,300 megawatts of projects will produce 3.7 billion kilowatt-hours of clean energy and avoid more than two million tons of carbon dioxide emissionsannually – the equivalent of removing more than 335,000 cars from the road.

BrightSource Energy’s proprietary Luz Power Tower 550 (LPT 550) energy system is built on proven “power tower” technology. The system uses thousands of small mirrors called heliostats to reflect sunlight onto a boiler atop a tower to produce high temperature steam. The steam is then piped to a conventional turbine which generates electricity. In order to conserve precious desert water, the LPT 550 system uses air-cooling to convert the steam back into water.The water is then returned to the boiler in an environmentally-friendly closed cycle. This fully integrated energy system is designed to offer the highest operating efficiencies and lowest capitalcosts in the industry.

This program is designed to help smaller renewable generators contribute to reaching California’s aggressive renewable energy andenvironmental goals. It also provides a faster, simpler way for renewable projects under 20 megawatts to sell their power to utility customers.
The current renewables portfolio includes:

• 1,137 megawatts from wind.

• 906 megawatts from geothermal. SCE and BrightSource Energy Sign World’s Largest Solar DealPage 3

• 356 megawatts from solar.

• 185 megawatts from biomass.

• 332 megawatts from small hydro.

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