California Solar Power Plants Approved to Begin Construction
California approves construction of two Solar Power Plants - Tessera Solar's Imperial Valley Solar Project and Chevron's Lucerne Solar Project
On Tuesday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved the construction of two California solar power plants - Tessera Solar's Imperial Valley Solar Project and Chevron's Lucerne Valley Solar Project. The two proposed plants will be the first ever to be built on public lands.
The two solar power plants will be employing two different solar technologies. Tessera Solar's Imperial Valley Solar Project will use Stirling Energy System's SunCatcher technology, which employs an array of curved mirrors set into a dish that tracks the sun to capture solar energy. The plant will be built in Imperial County, will span 6,360 acres and will generate up to 709 megawatts of power. Chevron's Lucerne Valley Solar Project will be built in San Bernardino County on 422 acres of public land. It will generate up to 45 megawatts of power using photovoltaic solar technology.
In 2009, the Interior Bureau of Land Management pledged to help speed renewable energy development, including solar power plants like these, through processing and analysis and into construction. Since then, the amount of red tape has been significantly diminished. Solar power plants that are under construction before the end of the year qualify for a special grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, making speed all the more important. When constructing their solar power plants, Tessera and Chevron will be helped greatly with grants for $273 million and $31 million, respectively.