Nestled close to the Nevada border in Needles, California, NRG Energy was on hand with BrightSource Energy and California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System facility in the Mojave Desert. NRG Solar had recently signed a letter of intent with BrightSource to construct, finance, own and operate the 392MW solar thermal project with a US$300 million investment over the next three years.
Construction has begun on the project and has a completion date set for mid-2013. So far, the project, which is lauded as the largest solar thermal project in the world, has a US$1.375 billion conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy for a loan guarantee with all permits and approvals successfully gathered from federal and California state agencies.
“Solar power is a cornerstone of our strategy to produce and deliver clean, zero-emission products and services to America’s growing number of clean energy consumers,” said David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy. “The ambition and scale of Ivanpah, capitalizing on California’s natural solar resource and demand for renewable energy, shows how far we have come in scaling up solar generation and in deploying cutting-edge American technology, creating in the process thousands of American jobs.”
The electricity generated from the solar project is to be sold through numerous PPA’s, each between 20 and 25 years, with Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric.