The California Energy Commission approved this project’s Application for Certification on September 8, 2010. The Commission monitors the power plant’s construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
artist’s rendition of project from the air
On August 10, 2009, Abengoa Solar Inc., the sole member of Mojave Solar LLC, filed an Application For Certification (AFC) for its Abengoa Mojave Solar Project. The proposed project is a nominal 250 megawatt (MW) solar electric generating facility to be located near Harper Dry Lake in an unincorporated area of San Bernardino County. The project would be located approximately halfway between Barstow, CA and Kramer Junction, CA, and is approximately nine miles northwest of Hinkley, CA.
The project will implement well-established parabolic trough technology to solar heat a heat transfer fluid (HTF). This hot HTF will generate steam in solar steam generators, which will expand through a steam turbine generator to produce electrical power from twin, independently-operable solar fields, each feeding a 125-MW power island. The sun will provide 100 percent of the power supplied to the project through solar-thermal collectors; no supplementary fossil-based energy source (like natural gas) is proposed for electrical power production.
Energy Commission Facility Certification Process
The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.