BrightSource Energy Inc., a solar thermal technology company, has filed an Application for Certification with the California Energy Commission to develop three 250 MW solar thermal power plants (750 MW combined) in Riverside County, Calif.
The plants, collectively called the Rio Mesa project, will be located primarily on land owned by the Metropolitan Water District. Each plant will include a separate solar field and solar power tower using BrightSource's LPT technology. According to BrightSource, Rio Mesa will reduce the quantity of land needed to produce solar power by utilizing a higher tower and increased mirror density compared to conventional plants, and it will deploy BrightSource's dry-cooling and water recycling system.
The proposed Rio Mesa site is located in unincorporated Riverside County approximately 13 miles southwest of Blythe, Calif., on 5,750 acres, most of which is owned by the Metropolitan Water District and previously disturbed. The remainder of the land is public and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project will require the approval of the California Energy Commission and the BLM, BrightSource says.
The Rio Mesa project is expected to create approximately 2,500 construction jobs at the peak of construction and approximately 150 operations and maintenance jobs.