The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved two amended BrightSource contracts, totaling 1,300,000MWh annually, with Southern California Edison (SCE).
One of the approved projects will see a power tower built at BrightSource’s Rio Mesa site and generate 573,000MWh annually. The plant will use the company’s LPT technology and sport a 750-foot tall tower with high concentration heliostats. The second contract approved was for BrightSource’s Sonoran West site, which will produce 733,000MWh annually. The project will use the company’s SolarPLUS thermal storage system.
The two approved contracts were submitted in November 2011 under a package of five contracts. The CPUC did not approve three of the contracts cost recovery proposals from SCE, which included a 200MW project at Rio Mesa and two 200MW projects at a Siberia site. However, BrightSource noted that it would continue with its plans for the Rio Mesa project as it awaits a permitting decision from the CEC. BrightSource stated that its Siberia project would linger as part of its 90,000-acre site portfolio.
“We’re pleased by the Commission’s approval of our contracts with Southern California Edison,” John Woolard, president and CEO of BrightSource Energy, noted in a statement. “The approval of these contracts allows us to build on the technology innovations deployed at our Ivanpah project, and continue driving down costs and improving efficiencies in our next generation plants, while incorporating storage into our power tower systems.”