California Complex Expected to Create Approximately 1,000 Jobs and Avoid Over 640,000 Tons of Carbon Pollution Annually.

The U.S. Department of Energy finalized $1.6 billion in loan guarantees to support the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System, three related utility-scale concentrated solar power plants. 

The Recovery Act funded project, sponsored by BrightSource Energy, Inc.,  will be located on federally-owned land in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California, near the Nevada border, and will be one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power complexes. BrightSource estimates the project will create approximately 1,000 construction jobs and 86 operations and maintenance jobs.

"Today’s announcement is creating over 1,000 jobs in California while laying the foundation for thousands more clean energy jobs across the country in the future," said Secretary Chu.   "Through the loan program we are supporting some of the largest, most innovative clean energy projects in the world, and those investments are helping us to out-compete and out-innovate our global competitors to win the future."

"With this $1.6 billion loan guarantee, BrightSource Energy will complete construction of a solar energy facility that will create more than 1,000 California jobs and provide clean power to 85,000 homes. This is the Energy Department’s first solar generation loan in California and I hope it will be followed by many more. I believe we must support and nurture the solar industry, and the only way the vast majority of these projects will become reality is through the federal loan guarantee program," said Senator Dianne Feinstein.

"This loan guarantee will help create clean-energy jobs, increase our energy independence, protect our children from dangerous pollution and strengthen California’s clean energy economy," Senator Barbara Boxer said. "This innovative solar energy project will provide a much-needed economic boost for San Bernardino County, creating more than 1,000 jobs."

The three-plant Ivanpah Solar Complex will generate approximately 392 gross megawatts (MW) of electricity using the company’s innovative, proprietary concentrating solar power (CSP) technology.  Once operational, the project will produce nearly one million megawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power over 85,000 homes, and will avoid over 640,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to taking over 120,000 cars off the road.

The project includes solar fields containing over 173,000 dual-mirror heliostats.  Brightsource’s proprietary technology controls the mirrors to follow the sun, capturing a greater percentage of solar energy than other solar thermal technologies.  Electricity from the project will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements with Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison Company (SCE).  The project will be interconnected to the electricity grid via an upgraded SCE transmission line.

The Department of Energy, through the Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling over $18 billion to support 20 clean energy projects across 14 states.  The program’s nine generation projects will produce nearly 23 million megawatt-hours, enough to power over two million homes. Additional DOE-supported projects include the world’s largest wind farm, two geothermal projects and the nation’s first new nuclear power plant in three decades.  For more information, please visit the Loan Programs Office website.