NRG Energy Inc., through its unit, NRG Solar, signed a letter of intent to partner with BrightSource Energy to construct, finance, own and operate the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California's Mojave Desert. NRG Solar plans to invest up to $300 million over the next three years in the project.
Construction has already begun and all three phases are expected to be fully operational by mid-2013. The project received a $1.375 billion conditional commitment from the Department of Energy for a loan guarantee and has obtained all permits and approvals from both federal and state agencies.
Electricity from Ivanpah will be sold under multiple long-term power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Bechtel will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will also be an equity investor in the project.
Ivanpah is five miles from the Nevada border on federal land managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management.
NRG currently owns one of the largest photovoltaic solar projects in California, a 21 MW facility in Blythe. Under a partnership with Eurus Energy America, NRG will co-own three photovoltaic solar facilities in California that, when completed in mid-2011, will generate 45 MW. In June 2010, NRG Solar agreed to buy a portfolio of nine solar development projects in California and Arizona from US Solar, an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners LLC. That purchase doubled the company's development pipeline to 1,150 MW.
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