Located on 3,600 acres of U.S. BLM managed land in southeastern California, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) is a 392 megawatt (gross) solar thermal power facility developed by BrightSource Energy. In December 2014, Ivanpah was named the 2014 Renewable Energy Project of the Year. To be eligible for an award, a project had to have been commissioned between August 1st, 2013 and July 31st, 2014 and have made a significant impact on the entire renewable energy industry.
Located in California’s Mojave Desert, Ivanpah uses 173,500 heliostat mirrors that focus sunlight on several centralized power towers. The towers generate steam to drive specially adapted 123-MW Siemens steam turbines — the largest fully solar-powered turbines in the world. To reduce its environmental impact, Ivanpah also utilizes dry cooling to condense the steam back into water, which minimizes water consumption to just 0.03 gallons of water per kW of electricity generated. The project is a concentrating solar power success story.
Ivanpah, which started construction in October 2010, is the first project to deliver power to serve BrightSource’s signed contracts with PG&E and Southern California Edison. Utilizing BrightSource Energy’s LPT solar thermal technology, the project combines BrightSource’s innovative solar technology with conventional power components to produce clean, reliable power at scale.
Ivanpah is also designed to maximize the economic benefits for California’s High Desert community. In December 2009, BrightSource Energy’s engineering partner, Bechtel, signed a project labor agreement with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC), and the Building & Construction Trades Council of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties to provide qualified, skilled craft workers for the Ivanpah project. In addition to providing good jobs, the project will also result in significant state and local tax revenues.
- A 392 megawatt (gross) solar complex using mirrors to focus the power of the sun on solar receivers atop power towers.
- The complex is comprised of three separate plants to be built in phases between 2010 and 2013, and will use BrightSource Energy’s LPT solar thermal technology.
- The electricity generated by all three plants is enough to serve more than 140,000 homes in California during the peak hours of the day.
- The project will provide power to Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.