California commission to hold Nov. 22 hearing on Palen solar project

The California Energy Commission committee reviewing the proposed amendment to the Palen Solar Electric Generating System Project will hold a Nov. 22 evidentiary hearing at the commission offices in Sacramento.

The evidentiary hearing will focus on air quality and greenhouse gases. Previous hearings were held on Oct. 28 and Oct.  29. The hearings establish the factual record that the committee reviewing the project will use to issue a proposed decision. The proposed decision will be presented to the full commission for final action, said a Nov. 15 hearing notice.

In December 2010, the commission approved the 500-MW Palen Solar Power Project using parabolic trough technology. In December 2012, the new project owner filed an amendment requesting to change the technology from parabolic trough to solar power tower.

The applicant for the amended project now known as the Palen Solar Electric Generating System is Palen Solar Holdings LLC, a joint venture of BrightSource Energy and Abengoa.

The proposed project consists of two 250-MW solar plants. Each plant would have about 85,000 heliostats for a total of 170,000 heliostats. Heliostats are elevated mirrors that focus the sun’s rays on a solar receiver that produces steam to generate electricity. The solar receiver would be located atop a 750-foot-tall power tower near the center of each solar field.

The project is located about 10 miles east of Desert Center, halfway between Indio and Blythe, in eastern Riverside County. The estimated capital cost is $2bn and construction is expected to last 33 months.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.