Through one of the contracts, BrightSource will sell the electricity generated by Unit 2 of its Rio Mesa CSP project.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved contracts wherein BrightSource Energy Inc. (Oakland, California, U.S.) will sell power from two concentrating solar power (CSP) projects under development to Southern California Edison Company (SCE, Rosemead, California, U.S.).

The contracts cover electricity produced by unit 2 of BrightSource’s Rio Mesa project and both units of its Sonoran West project, for a total of 790 MW. Businessweek reports that the CPUC rejected three other contracts between the two companies.

"We’re pleased by the Commission’s approval of our contracts with Southern California Edison," said BrightSource Energy President and CEO John Woolard.

"The approval of these contracts allows us to build on the technology innovations deployed at our Ivanpah project, and continue driving down costs and improving efficiencies in our next generation plants, while incorporating storage into our power tower systems."



The Rio Mesa project will consist of two 250 MW solar power tower CSP plants. The Sonoran West project will also feature 540 MW of solar power tower technology, and will include BrightSource’s SolarPLUS thermal storage system.

The CPUC has noted the project’s use of molten salt storage will allow SCE to optimize generation based on changing system requirements and as such provides additional value to ratepayers.

The three rejected contracts were for electricity to be generated by plants 1 and 2 of BrightSource’s Siberia CSP project, which total 600 MW, and Unit 1 of the Rio Mesa project.