Executive Insight, Generation, Renewable Energy, Solar

Energy Secretary Moniz opens Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz participated in the opening of the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System, a concentrating solar power plant.

As the first commercial deployment of power tower CSP technology in the U.S., the Ivanpah project was the recipient of a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO).

“The Ivanpah project is a shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy,” said Secretary Moniz. “As the president made clear in the State of the Union, we must continue to move toward a cleaner energy economy, and this project shows that building a clean energy economy creates jobs, curbs greenhouse gas emissions, and fosters American innovation.”

Ivanpah has the capacity to generate 392 MW of renewable power — enough to power 94,400 average American homes — most of which will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements to Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison Co. The project is a joint effort by NRG, Google, and BrightSource Energy, and Bechtel served as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor.

Ivanpah is one of five CSP projects that received loan guarantees from the Department, and when these projects are completed, they will provide a combined 1.26 GW of electric capacity. These loan guarantees, are also helping to finance the first solar thermal storage project and the first power tower with solar thermal storage in the U.S., as well as some of the world’s largest parabolic trough CSP plants. In addition to construction, operations and maintenance jobs, these projects are creating jobs in a national supply chain that reaches 39 states.