Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: Unit 2 - November 30, 2013
Operational: Unit 1 - March 7, 2014

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application For Certification on September 29, 2010. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Key Dates

General Description of Project

picture of what parabolic troughs will look like

Genesis Solar LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra™ Energy Resources LLC, submitted an Application for Certification (AFC) to the California Energy Commission on August 31, 2009, to construct, own, and operate the Genesis Solar Energy Project. The project is a concentrated solar electric generating facility located in eastern Riverside County, California.

The project consists of two independent solar electric generating facilities with a nominal net electrical output of 125 megawatts (MW) each, for a total net electrical output of 250 MW. Electrical power would be produced using steam turbine generators fed from solar steam generators. The solar steam generators receive heated transfer fluid from solar thermal equipment comprised of arrays of parabolic mirrors that collect energy from the sun.

The project uses Air Cooled Condensers, a dry cooling mechanism, for power plant cooling. Process water for ancillary uses, including mirror washing, would be supplied from on-site groundwater wells. Project cooling water blowdown is piped to lined, on-site evaporation ponds.

The project is located approximately 25 miles west of the city of Blythe, California, on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project is an undeveloped area of the Sonoran Desert. Surrounding features include the McCoy Mountains to the east, the Palen Mountains (including the Palen/McCoy Wilderness Area) to the north, and Ford Dry Lake, a dry lakebed, to the south. I-10 is located to the south of the project facility. The Chuckwalla Mountains and Little Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness Areas are also located farther south-southwest. The project area is otherwise undisturbed, although the area has been used for grazing, for off-highway vehicle recreation, and for military training prior to WW II in the past. Ford Dry Lake was formerly open to the public for off-highway vehicle use but has since been closed.

The interconnection is an approximately 7-mile, 230 kilovolts (KV) transmission line from the GSEP to the new (as of 2014) Southern California Edison Colorado River Sub-Station (CRSS), located to the southeast across Interstate 10 approximately 7 miles from the project.

Primary access to the GSEP site is provided via the Wiley’s Well Road exit from Interstate 10. The access roadway begins at the Wiley’s Well rest area and proceeds west for approximately 7 miles before entering upon the GSEP site.

The average annual groundwater usage for each 125 MW unit at the GSEP is estimated to be approximately 101 acre-feet per year, or 202 acre-feet plant-wide, based on the estimated facility operating hours of between 3,000 and 3,200 per year.

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.

For Questions about this Certification Proceeding Contact:

Eric Veerkamp
Compliance Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-2000
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-661-8458

For Questions About Public Participation In Certification Proceedings Contact:

Public Advisor
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-12 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4489
Toll-Free in California: 1-800-822-6228

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989

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