World’s Largest Solar Thermal Power Project at Ivanpah Achieves Commercial Operation

February 13, 2014

Press Release
February 13, 2014

—   All Three Units of 392 megawatt Ivan­pah Solar Elec­tric Gen­er­at­ing Sys­tem Now Deliv­er­ing Solar Pow­er to California’s Elec­tric Grid —

NIPTON, Calif.; Feb. 13, 2014 ¾ NRG Ener­gy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), through its whol­ly owned sub­sidiary NRG Solar, LLC, today announced that the Ivan­pah Solar Elec­tric Gen­er­at­ing Sys­tem is now oper­a­tional and deliv­er­ing solar elec­tric­i­ty to Cal­i­for­nia cus­tomers. At full capac­i­ty, the facility’s trio of 450-foot high tow­ers pro­duces a gross total of 392 megawatts (MW) of solar pow­er, enough elec­tric­i­ty to pro­vide 140,000 Cal­i­for­nia homes with clean ener­gy and avoid 400,000 met­ric tons of car­bon diox­ide per year, equal to remov­ing 72,000 vehi­cles off the road.

Ivan­pah is a joint effort between NRG, Google, and Bright­Source Ener­gy. Bech­tel is the engi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment, and con­struc­tion con­trac­tor on the project. The project received a $1.6 bil­lion loan guar­an­tee from the US Depart­ment of Energy’s Loan Pro­grams Office. The facil­i­ty achieved com­mer­cial oper­a­tion on Decem­ber 31, 2013. NRG will be the plant’s operator.

Ivan­pah, which accounts for near­ly 30 per­cent of all solar ther­mal ener­gy cur­rent­ly oper­a­tional in the US, is the largest solar project of its kind in the world. The project is the first to use BrightSource’s inno­v­a­tive solar pow­er tow­er tech­nol­o­gy to pro­duce elec­tric­i­ty, which includes 173,500 heliostats that fol­low the sun’s tra­jec­to­ry, solar field inte­gra­tion soft­ware and a solar receiv­er steam gen­er­a­tor. Since break­ing ground in Octo­ber 2010, the project has cre­at­ed thou­sands of jobs and, at the peak of con­struc­tion, employed near­ly 3,000 site work­ers who com­plet­ed more than 8.35 mil­lion man-hours. A total of approx­i­mate­ly $650 mil­lion in salaries for con­struc­tion and oper­a­tions is expect­ed to be paid over the next 30 years.

See full press release at Bright­Source Ener­gy.