Following recent news that environmentalists lobbied to have a solar energy project cancelled in California due to fears it would ruin protected land in the Mojave Desert, BrightSource, the company in question, made its announcement today that it has other plans up its sleeve –– to expand its output in another state:
From a press release: “BrightSource Energy, Inc., developer of large-scale solar thermal power plants, announced recently that it has reached a preliminary agreement with Nevada’s Coyote Springs Land Company to provide the sites for up to 960 megawatts of clean and reliable solar thermal energy to the California and Nevada markets.
According to the release, the agreement expands upon the previously-announced private land agreement that BrightSource made with Coyote in March 2009 to provide sites for up to 600 megawatts of solar thermal power.
The Coyote Springs project is part of BrightSource Energy’s diverse site development strategy in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, including its first project located in Ivanpah, California.
The Ivanpah project is in the final permitting stages with the California Energy Commission and the Bureau of Land Management, and is expected to begin construction in early 2010.
“The Coyote Springs Lands are a great addition to our growing and diverse portfolio of sites suitable for solar thermal projects,” said John Woolard, President and CEO for BrightSource Energy.
“We are pleased that BrightSource Energy has increased the size of its land commitment and supporting our national and state priorities for expansion of renewable energy,” said Harvey Whittemore, founder of Coyote Springs and chairman of Coyote Springs Land Company Our national and state leaders are to be commended for having created an environment where this can take place in our state.”
The size of the site has now expanded to include a twelve-square-mile area within the larger Coyote Springs development in Lincoln County.
The site is located on private property near transmission lines and, as part of the broader development site, has already received environmental permits from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and various other federal, state and county agencies. The power generated from the Coyote Springs site could meet demand generated in the Coyote Springs development, southern Nevada, as well as deliver power to California.