This week’s CSP Today news brief includes the CEC, BrightSource Energy, Hidden Hills Solar; South Africa Department of Energy, SolarReserve, Kensani Group, Intikon Energy; California Energy Commission; Torresol Energy, Masdar, Sener.
CEC releases PSA for Hidden Hills Solar project
The California Energy Commission has released its preliminary analysis of BrightSource Energy’s proposed Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System project.
The applicant for the project is Hidden Hills Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of BrightSource. The proposed project consists of two 250-MW solar thermal power plants. The project would be located on 3,277 acres of private land leased in Inyo County next to the Nevada border. The capital cost for the project is estimated to be US$2.7 billion.
According to the Commission’s preliminary staff assessment (PSA), the proposed 500MW solar thermal power project complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards in all but six technical sections.
The PSA concluded that environmental impacts would be less than significant. The PSA serves as the Commission staff’s initial evaluation of the environmental, engineering, public health and safety impacts of the proposed facility.
However, the PSA is not a decision nor does it contain final findings of the Commission related to the environmental impacts or the project’s compliance with local, state and federal legal requirements.
After a public comment period on the PSA, which will include two workshops scheduled for next month, staff will release a final staff assessment (FSA). Subject to project approval, construction would be completed by the third or fourth quarter of 2015.
SolarReserve diversifies portfolio
A consortium featuring SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of utility-scale solar power projects, has been awarded an additional 88 MW PV project with preferred bidder status by the South Africa Department of Energy.
In addition to Santa Monica, California-based SolarReserve, the other companies in this consortium are infrastructure company Kensani Group and Intikon Energy, a South African developer of renewable energy projects.
The Jasper Solar Energy Project, located in the Northern Cape of South Africa, was developed in response to the Department’s second bidding window for the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). It is expected is to begin construction in January next year.
The development has emerged as SolarReserve, Intikon and Kensani are cooperating further to develop additional PV and CSP projects in South Africa.
The CSP projects will incorporate SolarReserve’s molten salt power tower technology with fully integrated energy storage. For Solar Reserve, this allotment also expands its international activities and diversified portfolio of photovoltaic and CSP projects.
CEC’s workshop for Rio Mesa SEGF facility
The California Energy Commission was scheduled to conduct a workshop for the proposed Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility (Rio Mesa SEGF) in Sacramento, California last week.
The proposed project consists of three 250-MW solar thermal power plants located on the Palo Verde Mesa in Riverside County, about 13 miles southwest of Blythe. The estimated capital cost for the project is about $3 billion. The facility is being for development by Rio Mesa Solar I, Rio Mesa Solar II and Rio Mesa III, subsidiaries of BrightSource Energy.
The purpose of the workshop is to allow staff, the applicant, interested agencies, and the public to discuss biological resources, cultural resources, paleontological resources, and soil and water resources as related to staff's data requests and applicant's data responses.
In October last year, BrightSource submitted an Application for Certification (AFC) to construct and operate the Rio Mesa SEGF facility. In December, the AFC was deemed complete for purposes of commencing the Commission’s siting review process.
The staff will use the information obtained from the workshop discussions to prepare its Preliminary Staff Assessment for the project. If the project is approved, construction of the facility, from site preparation and grading to commercial operation, would take place from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016.
Chinese delegate visits Gemasolar
A delegation, featuring the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Wu Bangguo, visited the solar thermal electricity plant Gemasolar, located in the town of Fuentes de Andalucia.
The Chinese government’s delegate also included other representatives from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. In all, there were 60 visitors. The delegate met Torresol Energy’s President, Enrique Sendagorta.
Wu Bangguo was also accompanied by the Manager of the Industry Area of the Andalusian Government Subdelegation, Juan Manuel Gomez Tenorio, and by the General Manager of Industry, Power and Mines of the Andalusian Government, Eva Maria Vazquez Sanchez.
The visitors received a technical explanation from Torresol Energy’s General Manager, Alvaro Lorente, who accompanied the delegation through the plant’s facilities.
Torresol Energy, a joint venture between Masdar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company, and Sener, a multidiscipline engineering company, currently has three solar plant in operation in Spain.
These include the 19.9 MW Gemasolar plant with central tower and heliostat field technology located in Fuentes de Andalucía, Seville, and Valle 1 and Valle 2, twin 50 MW installations with parabolic trough technology located in San Jose del Valle, Cadiz.