Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

May 06

500MW Solar Plant Coming to California

Posted in Energy Industry | Photovoltaic Cells | Solar Power

Solar Plant Pacific Gas and Electric has announced plans to work with BrightSource Energy to three four or more huge solar thermal electric generators in the Mojave desert. The first plant will be operational by 2011 and will produce almost 250 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year. Brightsource Energy’s president John Woolard claims it is “the biggest commitment ever in the history of solar”. PG&E is motivated by a California law which requires them to produce 20% of its power via renewable sources by 2010.


BrightSource’s goal is to substantially lower the cost and increase the use of solar energy throughout the Western United States. “PG&E is making this goal possible by committing to power purchase agreements that will bring the benefit of carbon-free power to their customers,” noted John Woolard, president and CEO of BrightSource in making this announcement. “PG&E is demonstrating true leadership in bringing large scale solar power to California.”

Solar Power Plants

  • buzz saw

    PG&E had a terrible environmental and public relations record. For decades it was one thing after another. Now they are becoming the industry leader. I wish them well with their new evolution.

  • John

    “and will produce almost 250 megawatts of electricity per year”

    I hope this a typo as this would be less than a megawatt per day. Not a very good ROI. I assume they meant per hour.
    -John

  • Bob Wallace

    From BrightSource’s web site…

    “The first of these solar power plants, sized at 100 MW in Ivanpah, California, could be operating as early as 2011 and is expected to produce 246,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year.”

    I live in an area served by PG&E. They’ve been doing an excellent job of getting CFLs into peoples hands. One can commonly buy a new CFL for $0.75 here and on Earth Day they had a bulb exchange. Bring in an incandescent, working or not, and get a new CFL in return.

  • Brad

    A plants annual output is measured in megawatt hours, not megawatts. “250MW of electricity per year” is a misstatement. Sorry John. 250MW would be the capacity of the plant – what it is capable of producing at any instant during full operations. To determine the quantity of electricity the plant will produce annually, you would multiply the plants capacity (250 MW) times the number of hours in a year (8760) times the plant’s expected capacity factor (let’s say 35% assuming the sun is shining a bit more than 8 hours per day). The result would give you the number of megawatt hours the plant will produce in a year.

  • http://sunppm.com Alex

    Wow!

    500 MW plant should produce 250 megawatt hours in a half an hour. It should produce over a terawatt-hour per year…

    Impressive…

    Thanks for the article

  • http://www.kema.com Friso Sikkema

    @ Brad: indeed, I was almost going to correct the misunderstandings myself.
    If a power plant produces 250 MW, it puts out 250 million Joules per second, so that’s about equivalent as stating the amount of horsepowers from your car. 250 MW is equal to about 340,000 horsepower, quite a lot.

    Stating the number of MWh a plant has produced during a year, is like saying how much petrol your car has burned in a year. It is equal to a certain amount of energy.

    as a comparison to see the long road we have yet to follow: California alone has 53,000 MW of installed capacity (which is not enough, moreover) and 250 MW of solar generation is therefore only a small dent (about .4 %) of that capacity.

  • Nazmul

    USA is the most energy consuming country.To protect our planet(environment) they must come forward. Since they have high technology, they should move toward renewable power like this one instead of using conventional power plant like steam power plant.

    I think more and more of this kind of project should be taken under consider.

  • Keith Elliott

    This system is already in use by Abengoa in Spain very successfully. I sincerely hope they are able to install many of these systems.
    A desert is a great location for this and – hopefully – there will not be too much objection.

  • http://www.placercountyhomesandland.com/ Patrick Hake

    Great to see renewable energy getting more investment. As Ghawar dries up and oil prices rise, alternative sources of energy will look more and more appealing.

  • http://www.placercountyhomesandland.com/ Patrick Hake

    Great to see renewable energy getting more investment. As Ghawar dries up and oil prices rise, alternative sources of energy will look more and more appealing.


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