BrightSource terminates application for stalled Hidden Hills solar project in California

BrightSource Energy sent a brief notice on May 29 to the California Energy Commission saying that it is terminating the application for its 500-MW Hidden Hills solar project.

Said the Notice: “Pursuant to Title 20, California Code of Regulations, Section 1709.8, Hidden Hills Solar I, LLC and Hidden Hills Solar II, LLC hereby withdraw the Application for Certification for the Hidden Hills Generating System (‘Notice’), effective immediately.”

The committee designated by the California commission to conduct proceedings on the Application for Certification (AFC) for the Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System (HHSEGS) had scheduled a June 3 hearing at the commission offices in Sacramento. On April 8, the applicant filed a petition for continued suspension of the AFC proceeding for this project. On April 16, the committee received the Energy Commission staff’s motion to terminate the proceeding for failure to pursue the application with due diligence under the California Code of Regulations.

The developer had proposed to build two power towers, solar fields, and associated facilities to generate 270 MW (gross) each (250 MW net), for a total net output of 500 MW. HHSEGS would be located on approximately 3,277 acres of privately-owned land in Inyo County, California, adjacent to the Nevada border. The project site is approximately 18 miles south of Pahrump, Nevada, and 45 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada.

In August 2011, the companies had submitted the AFC. In April 2013, applicant filed a Notice of Suspension of its AFC. No reason for the suspension was given in the filing other than the conclusion that applicant “determined there is a need to suspend” the AFC. In April 2013, the committee ordered the HHSEGS proceedings suspended. In an October 2013 status report, the applicant said it was reviewing the project to “determine a course of action that would allow for the project to reinitiate permitting activities.” It further advised that it had withdrawn its Interconnection Request at the California Independent System Operator.

On April 3, the latest suspension expired. On April 8, applicant filed a Petition for Continued Suspension. On April 16, commission staff filed its Motion to Terminate Proceeding, stating that the applicant’s status reports contain “absolutely no substantive information regarding the progress of the project, or reasons to continue suspension.”

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.