Coal, Renewables

California to consider 900 MW of natural gas and solar capacity

2 November 2007 — The California Energy Commission accepted applications to build both a 558-MW natural gas powered plant and a 400-MW thermal solar power plant. The Commission’s unanimous votes on both projects commenced the yearlong licensing process each project will go through to ensure that environmental requirements are met.

Carlsbad Energy Center LLC, a subsidiary of Texas-based NRG Energy, will develop a fast-start, high-efficiency, combined-cycle natural gas-fired generating facility on a 22-acre portion of the existing Encina Power Station also owned by NRG. The plant will use two units with one natural-gas-fired combustion turbine and one steam turbine per or unit. As part of the Carlsbad Project, three existing steam boiler units at the Encina Power Station will be retired. NRG anticipates a 19-month construction schedule to complete the project, with the goal of bringing the facility online by summer 2010.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the first large solar thermal facility proposed in 16 years, will develop three solar thermal power plants based on distributed power tower and heliostat mirror technology near Ivanpah Dry Lake in San Bernardino County. If licensed, the project would be constructed as three separate plants. The three plants, collectively referred to as the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS), would be located in the Mojave Desert. The total area required for all three phases would be 3,400-acres. If approved by the Commission, construction of the project will begin in early 2009. Targeted completion is late 2012.