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President Obama Highlights Brightsource Energy's Ivanpah Solar Project During Weekly Radio Adress

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The Ivanpah Project: Clean Energy, Union Jobs, Environmentally-Responsible Design


During his weekly address to the nation, President Obama highlighted BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System as an example of how the clean energy incentives launched by the administration are creating good jobs and helping the nation achieve its clean energy goals. According to the President:

“This month, in the Mojave Desert, a company called BrightSource plans to break ground on a revolutionary new type of solar power plant. It’s going to put about a thousand people to work building a state-of-the-art facility. And when it’s complete, it will turn sunlight into the energy that will power up to 140,000 homes – the largest such plant in the world. Not in China. Not in India. But in California.”

“With projects like this one, and others across this country, we are staking our claim to continued leadership in the new global economy. And we’re putting Americans to work producing clean, home-grown American energy that will help lower our reliance on foreign oil and protect our planet for future generations.”

The entire address can be seen at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/10/02/weekly-address-solar-power-a-clean-energy-economy .

The Ivanpah Project: Clean Energy, Union Jobs, Environmentally-Responsible Design

Once completed, the 392 megawatt (gross) Ivanpah will nearly double the amount of solar thermal electricity produced in the United States today. The approximately 3,600 acre project is located in San Bernardino County, in southeastern California. When constructed, the project will:

– produce enough clean energy to power 140,000 homes

– reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 400,000 tons annually, the equivalent of taking more than 70,000 cars off the road

– create more than 1,000 local union jobs at the peak of construction

– provide $650 million in employee wages over its first 30-year life

The project is expected to break ground this month following a final permit approval by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Ivanpah project was identified as a “fast-track” priority by the BLM for obtaining federal stimulus benefits under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Jointly reviewed with the California Energy Commission, the project received its state permits on September 29, 2010. In February 2010, BrightSource received a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy for $1.37 billion in loan guarantees to support the financing of the Ivanpah project.

The power generated from these solar plants will be sold under separate contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE). PG&E will purchase approximately two-thirds of the power generated at Ivanpah and SCE will purchase approximately one-third. In all, BrightSource has contracted with PG&E and SCE to deliver more than 2,600 megawatts of electric power.

Ivanpah: Creating Union Jobs

BrightSource and Bechtel, the engineering and construction contractor for the Ivanpah project, estimate that construction of the Ivanpah project will require approximately four million job hours of work and 1,000 union jobs at the peak of construction. In December 2009, Bechtel signed a project labor agreement with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) and the Building & Construction Trades Council of San Bernardino and Riverside counties to ensure that California’s local workforce benefits from the project. The project will also provide $300 million in local and state tax revenues, and produce $650 million in wages, over its first 30-year life.

Ivanpah: An Environmentally-Responsible Project

BrightSource’s proprietary Luz Power Tower (LPT) technology enables the company to employ a low-impact environmental design. Instead of the extensive land grading and concrete pads used by other competing solar technologies, BrightSource mounts mirrors on individual poles that are placed directly into the ground, allowing the solar field to be built around the natural contours of

the land and avoid areas of sensitive vegetation. This design also allows for vegetation to co-exist within the solar field.

In order to conserve precious desert water, the Ivanpah project will employ an air-cooling system to convert the steam back into water in a closed-loop cycle. By using air-cooling, the project will use only 100 acre feet of water per year, approximately 95 percent less water than competing solar thermal technologies that use wet-cooling.


About BrightSource Energy, Inc.

BrightSource Energy, Inc. provides clean, reliable and low cost solar energy for utility and industrial companies worldwide. The BrightSource Energy team combines nearly three decades of experience designing, building and operating the world’s largest solar energy plants with world-class project development capabilities. The company now has contracted to sell 2610 megawatts of power to be generated using its proprietary solar thermal technology. BrightSource Energy’s solar plants are designed to minimize their impact on the environment and help customers reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Headquartered in Oakland, Calif., BrightSource Energy is a privately held company with operations in the United States, Israel, and Australia. To learn more about BrightSource Energy and solar thermal energy, visit www.brightsourceenergy.com.

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