Aug 10, 2011 - US solar thermal power developer BrightSource Energy Inc last week said it had submitted an application for certification (AFC) with the California Energy Commission for a 500 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) project in California.
The project, named Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System, will include two 250-MW CSP plants on 3,280 acres (1,327 ha) of privately-owned land in the Inyo county. The system is expected to generate enough electricity to supply 178,000 households and save some 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, Brightsource said.
Utility Pacific Gas & Electric will buy the project's electricity production under two power purchase agreements (PPA).
Brightsource said it would use a new configuration for the Hidden Hills system that reduces land use by 33% in utility-scale plants, compared to a typical photovoltaic (PV) solar plant and parabolic trough solar thermal plant. The project will utilize the company's proprietary LPT solar thermal energy system which creates steam to turn a turbine using the sun's energy instead of fossil fuels or nuclear power, and an air-cooling system to convert the steam into water.
The project is expected to yield USD 265 million (EUR 184.2m) in local and state taxes over its lifetime, according to Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst for divosory firm Applied Analysis.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.695)
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