DOE Issues Loan Guarantees for Ivanpah Solar Project

Up to $1.37 billion in federal loan guarantees have been promised to construct and start the 370 MW project on 3,471 acres of federal land in California.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced April 18 that it will issue loan guarantees of up to $1.37 billion to fund the construction and start-up of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a 370 megawatt solar power facility to be built on 3,471 acres managed by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management in San Bernardino County, Calif. The property is about 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas, Nev.

Environmental concerns were resolved when EPA published a final EIS on Aug. 6, 2010, with comments received on the final EIS addressed in Appendix 1 of the Record of Decision for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Project and Associated Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan, which is available at http://www.blm.gov or by calling the BLM Needles Field Office at 760-326-7000.

The entities receiving the guarantees are Solar Partners I, LLC; Solar Partners II, LLC; and Solar Partners VIII, LLC. They are subsidiaries of BrightSource Energy, Inc.

Ivanpah is actually three power plants. Ivanpah 1 will generate 120 MW, and Ivanpah 2 and 3 will each generate 125 MW. Each plant will consist of fields of heliostats (elevated mirrors guided by a tracking system) focusing solar energy on boilers located on centralized power towers. A steam turbine in each of the three plants will receive live steam from the power tower boiler for the generation of electricity.

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