SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Abengoa Solar announced the signing of a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to supply the electricity generated by the new solar plant “Mojave Solar.”
The project will generate 250 megawatts (MW) of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and is to be located in an unincorporated area of San Bernardino County, between Barstow and Kramer Junction, approximately nine miles northwest of Hinkley, and 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The project is expected to bring 1,200 green construction jobs and, when completed, approximately 80 permanent jobs to this desert area.
Once it starts operating in 2013, it will generate nearly as much electricity as all of California’s present-day commercial CSP installations combined, enough to power about 90,000 average homes, and avoid over 431 kilotons per year of greenhouse gas emissions.
On August 10, 2009, Abengoa Solar filed an Application for Certification with the California Energy Commission for its Mojave Solar Project. The project has been deemed data adequate by the CEC and public meetings are anticipated to begin in December.
Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar explained: “Mojave Solar is a project we have been working on for several years. The permitting and engineering effort is very advanced and we are very proud to partner with PG&E to make this project a reality.”
The project will be sited on 1,765 acres of private, previously disturbed land that had been farmed since the 1920s, but is now largely fallow. The solar plant will use significantly less water per acre than was used for agricultural purposes.
“The location has been carefully chosen and the plant has been specifically configured to minimize environmental impacts on the desert,” said Scott Frier, COO of Abengoa Solar, Inc.
The spinoff economic benefits, including jobs created, are expected to be significant near an area that was farmed for alfalfa from the 1920s, but was later largely abandoned.
Mojave Solar Project will contribute to meeting California’s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard, which calls for moving away from fossil fuels to solar energy and other renewable energy sources that avoid pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.