12 February '10
9:15 AM UTC
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BrightSource Scales Back Solar Plant; Desert Tortoise Wins!

Keep on truckin' desert tortoise

The desert tortoise has won!  Or something like that.

BrightSource Energy for the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in the Mojave Desert that would reduce the project’s footprint and megawattage but have less impact on about 25 threatened tortoises.

We wrote about the issue last month. Read More »

11 January '10
10:41 AM UTC
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eSolar Inks First Big CSP Deal in China

eSolar and Chinese-owned Penglai Electric over the weekend a licensing agreement to build 2 gigawatts of solar thermal power plants in China over 10 years. (Hat tip: )

The project will be China’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) installation, with installation of the first 92 megawatts slated for 2010. Read More »

4 January '10
4:00 AM UTC
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BrightSource Energy vs. the Desert Tortoise


The Ivanpah Solar Power Complex: derailed by a lowly tortoise?

The Ivanpah Solar Power Complex: moving too fast for turtle lovers?

Continuous sunshine? Check. Near existing power lines? Check. Sited on the habitat of an endangered tortoise? D’oh!

BrightSource Energy wants to put its 440 megawatt in a 6 square mile area of the Mojave Desert owned by the federal government. Unfortunately for the company, the area is also home to threatened desert tortoise, according to Associated Press story.

It’s yet another instance of the “green on green” disputes that have already derailed another BrightSource project in the Mojave Desert. Will they also prevent states from meeting renewable energy standards? Read More »

22 October '09
6:04 PM UTC
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FPL 250 MW California Solar Project Clears Key Regulatory Hurdle

Florida Power & Light‘s 250-megawatt Beacon CSP power project has passed a regulatory hurdle with the California Energy Commission (CEC) a Final Staff Assessment (FSA). This is not a final approval — that’s expected to happen early next year — but a seal of approval by CEC staffers.

“Getting an FSA green light does not ensure the Commission will approve the project,” a spokesman tells us. In a release the CEC writes:

The staff of the California Energy Commission believes that the proposed 250-megawatt Beacon Solar Energy Project (BSEP) in Eastern Kern County can be permitted and constructed in a manner that would allow it to comply with environmental laws and state policies.

The plant will sit on a 2,000 plus acre (809 hectares) site at the western edge of the Mojave Desert, four miles (6 kilometers) from California City and 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of the town of Mojave. If approved FPL subsidiary Beacon Solar Power will start construction in 2010 to  begin operating at the end of 2012.