The NYT reports that the US Government is offering loan guarantees for a large scale solar thermal power project in California - U.S. Offers Solar Project a Crucial Loan Guarantee.
The United States Department of Energy offered a $1.37 billion loan guarantee on Monday to a California company planning to build a large-scale solar power plant in the Southern California desert, The New York Times’s Todd Woody reported.
The loan guarantee for BrightSource Energy of Oakland, Calif., is the largest the department has given for a solar power project. BrightSource’s planned project, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, is the first utility-scale solar power plant to undergo licensing in California in nearly two decades.
It would use solar thermal technology, in which mirrors concentrate sunlight to heat a fluid and generate steam. If built, it would be the largest of its kind.
“We’re not going to sit on the sidelines while other countries capture the jobs of the future — we’re committed to becoming the global leader in the clean energy economy,” Steven Chu, the energy secretary, said in a statement.
The loan guarantee is contingent on the Ivanpah project passing state and federal environmental reviews. ...
Executives at BrightSource, which is backed by Google, Morgan Stanley, Chevron and BP, have said the loan guarantee is crucial to obtaining financing to build the plant at a time when banks are reluctant to finance new technologies. The company will not disclose the total projected cost of the power plant.
The Ivanpah plant will deploy thousands of mirrors, called heliostats, that focus the sun on three towers that will each contain a boiler filled with water. The focused heat creates steam that drives a turbine to generate electricity. The plant, to be built by Bechtel, is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs.
BrightSource has signed contracts to deliver 2,600 megawatts of electricity to the utilities Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison.
The NYT also reports that Chevron is looking to build a CPV (Concentrating Solar Photovoltaic) system at a New Mexico mine site - Chevron Technology to Build N.M. Solar Plant .
Chevron Corp.'s emerging technologies unit will build the largest U.S. power plant that uses lenses to focus sunlight onto photovoltaic cells, company officials said yesterday
Chevron Technology Ventures will build the 1 megawatt concentrating photovoltaic power array on the tailing site of Chevron Mining Inc.'s molybdenum mine in Questa, N.M. The project will use lenses --- instead of mirrors, like those employed at solar thermal arrays --- to focus sunlight onto 175 photovoltaic panels. Germany's Concentrix Solar GmbH will provide the concentrating photovoltaic system. ...
The array will be the largest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) installation in the United States and one of the largest in the world, Chevron Technology Ventures President Des King said. The technology is expected to work best in areas such as New Mexico's desert, which have high direct solar radiation.