BrightSource Energy closes financing for Ivanpah project

Oakland, Calif., April 12, 2011 — BrightSource Energy, a solar thermal energy company, closed financing for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.

As part of the financing, BrightSource finalized $1.6 billion in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Loan Programs Office.

The company also announced that Google will join NRG Solar LLC and BrightSource as an equity investor in the project by making a $168 million investment.

In October 2010, NRG Solar LLC, a unit of NRG Energy, announced its commitment to invest up to $300 million to become the lead investor in the project. NRG’s investment commitment coincided with BrightSource’s engineering partner, Bechtel, commencing construction on the project.   

The Ivanpah project is located on nearly 3,500 acres of federal land managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. The project is a 392 gross-MW solar power facility consisting of three separate solar thermal power plants. When constructed, the project will produce enough clean energy to power 140,000 homes.

The power generated from these solar plants will be sold under separate contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison. PG&E will purchase about two-thirds of the power generated at Ivanpah and SCE will purchase about one-third. In all, BrightSource has contracted with PG&E and SCE to deliver about 2,600 MW of electric power.

The project received its state permits from the California Energy Commission and federal permits from the BLM in September and October 2010, respectively.

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