Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Google backs BrightSource solar power plant

BrightSource Energy said today it has secured financing for a utility-scale solar plant in the California desert, the first project of this type to be built in the U.S. in decades.

The Oakland, Calif.-based company said that it has finalized $1.6 billion in loans guaranteed from the U.S. Department of Energy for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a facility which will have three concentrating solar thermal plants.

The company also said today Google will invest $168 million in equity into the project, joining BrightSource and NRG Solar, a division of utility NRG. The Ivanpah facility will have a capacity of 370 megawatts (it will have a total 392 megawatt capacity and require 22 megawatts to operate) and is expected to be operating in 2013. It will generate enough electricity to supply about 85,000 homes, according to the DOE, while BrightSource Energy estimates 140,000 homes based on its utility power purchase agreement.

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