Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: December 30, 2013

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application For Certification on September 22, 2010. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Key Dates

General Description of Project

Artist rendering of how proposed project will look when completed

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) is located in the Mojave Desert, near the Nevada border, in San Bernardino County. The project was certified by the Energy Commission on September 22, 2010, and began commercial operation in December 2013.

ISEGS is a 386 megawatt (MW) project consisting of three individually certified solar concentrating thermal power plants, based on distributed power tower and heliostat mirror technology, in which heliostat (mirror) fields focus solar energy on power tower receivers near the center of each heliostat array. ISEGS Power Plant 1 is a nominal 120 MW plant located on approximately 914 acres and consists of 53,500 heliostats; Power Plant 2 is a nominal 133 MW plant located on approximately 1,097 acres and consists of 60,000 heliostats; and Power Plant 3 is a nominal 133 MW plant located on approximately 1,227 acres and contains 60,000 heliostats. Each site has a single receiver and heliostat array.

In each solar plant, one Rankine-cycle reheat steam turbine receives live steam from the solar collector located in the power block at the top of a tower. Each plant also includes two natural gas-fired steam boilers: an auxiliary boiler and a nighttime preservation boiler. The auxiliary boiler is used for thermal input to the steam turbine during the morning start-up cycle to assist the plant in coming up to operating temperature. The auxiliary boiler is also operated during transient cloudy conditions, in order to maintain the steam turbine.

Each solar plant uses dry cooling to conserve water, and limited to a combined 100 acre-feet per year of water for plant operations.

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:

Joe Douglas
Compliance Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-2000
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-956-9527

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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