Clean Power

Published on August 8th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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BrightSource Planning 2nd Huge Solar Power Plant in California, Bigger One (+ Top Solar Power Stories)

August 8th, 2011 by  

Concentrating solar thermal power plant similar to what BrightSource will use for the project below. Photo Credit: BrightSorce Energy

BrightSource Energy, which is working on a massive solar power plant in California, the Ivanpah solar power plant (one we’ve written about numerous times over the years), filed to build two more large-scale power plants in California on Friday. These are to be 250 MW each, compared to Ivanpah’s two 100-MW units and one 200-MW unit.

The plant design for this new project has been altered to address environmental concerns and to make the plant more land-efficient than Ivanpah, 33% more, and cost-efficient. It is also 750-feet tall, a bit taller than Ivanpah, which is 459-feet tall, but the company is not yet reaching for Enviromission’s target of a 2,600-foot solar power tower (of, notably, a different technological design). Each tower will be surrounded by a hard-to-comprehend 85,000 heliostats. The plant is expected to be able to power 178,000 homes (preventing carbon dioxide emissions of 500,000 tons a year).

The proposed site of BrightSource’s new project is over 5 square miles of private land in the Mojave Desert in California and the name of the 500-megawatt project is currently the Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System. It plans to break ground on the project in the second half of 2012 and have it creating electricity by 2015.

BrightSource is currently backed by Google, French energy giant Alstom, Morgan Stanley, Chevron, and NRG Energy and has filed for a $250-million initial public offering.

Solar power towers of various sorts seem to be all the rage of late, and BrightSource is clearly gung-ho about them.

For some more huge solar energy stories of the week, check out our Solar Energy category.

And, here are some cool solar energy stories from the past week or so that we haven’t covered on CleanTechnica yet:

  1. The World’s Biggest Residential Solar System?
  2. DOE finalizes a $967M loan guarantee to support the Agua Caliente Solar Project
  3. New solar installation to provide 12 percent of Yosemite’s energy
  4. Econ 101: Solar panels increase home values
  5. Sun-Trackers Bring Solar Power To Vermont
  6. Japan’s Internet Giants “Clash” Over Solar. Everybody Wins.
  7. A Little Night Solar: BrightSource Energy Offers Multi-Hour Thermal Storage
  8. China heats up solar market with new feed-in tariff
  9. How one undergrad built the largest solar farm in Michigan
  10. GM invests $7.5 million in solar power


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.



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  • tibi stibi

    “These are to be 250 MW each”
    and
    “BrightSource is currently backed by Google, French energy giant Alstom, Morgan Stanley, Chevron, and NRG Energy and has filed for a $250-million initial public offering.”

    can i conclude that 250 MW costs 250$??

    • Anonymous

      haha, don’t think so 😀

    • Anonymous

      Ivanpah is costing about $2.2 billion for 400 MW, so figure this one at about $2.5 billion.

  • Anonymous

    “[Hidden Hills 1 & 2] are each supposed to be almost twice the size of Ivanpah, 250 MW compared to 130 MW.”

    Ivanpah consists of two 100 MW units, and one 200 MW unit. This is another step up, but not that dramatic.

    • Anonymous

      woops, thanks, correcting! seeing those figures everywhere, but didn’t look all the way back at the source

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