PROJECT SPONSOR ORGANISATION BACKGROUND
Bright Source Energy, Inc. is a California based corporation that designs, develops, and finance operate utility-scale solar power thermal power plants
Bright Source Energy was founded in 2006, and its CEO is John Woolard.
The company specializes in Solar, Energy, Concentrated Solar, and Renewable Energy.
The organization has a strong background in environmental planning and experience in clean energy technologies.
The company uses breakthrough technology alongside excellent solar thermal design capabilities to produce clean and reliable energy.
The organizations thermal solar system is designed to reduce the impact on the environment and help consumers get clean energy.
Bright Source’s first project was the 6 MWth (megawatt-thermal) Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC), located in Israel’s Negev desert.
The organization’s second project was the 29 MWth Chevron/Bright Source Solar Steam Demonstration Facility in California.
Before the Ivanpahproject,it had won a $ 1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy to help reduce its financing cost in solar power projects.
The organization also has investments worth $ 615 from companies such as Alstrom, Google, NRG Solar Chevron, and B.P.
The construction of Ivanpah started in 2010 and was completed in 2013. The project is located in the Mojave California deserts.
The project is one of the largest commercial-scale power plants ever developed by BrightSource, with 392 MW(megawatts) of electricity.
The Ivanpah is also currently the largest solar thermal plant in the World.
The project is operated by NRG Energy, one of the project’s equity investors.
The project is located on 3600 acres of federal land and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
It is estimated that the project would cover around 140000 homes during peak hours.
The project was designed using new technologies such as dry cooling,”which enables thermal solar plants to reduce water usage by more than 90 percent.
The Ivanpah project was designed to deliver power under a 25-year power purchase agreement to the Pacific Gas and the Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison.
It is estimated that the Ivanpah would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emission by more than 400000 tons annually.
The project is comprised of three separate plants built between 2010 and 2013 and uses BrightSource energy LPT solar thermal technology.
Benefit to sponsors
The Conventional power block components like turbines and , the project would helpBrightSourceto deliver a cost-competitive, clean and reliable power.
This will also help the sponsors increase output and significantly reduce the cost of energy.
The project would also help the sponsor organization set up the most reliable source of electricity that is not vulnerable to changes in adverseweather patterns.
The project would also help the sponsor (BrightSource) test the feasibility and viability of thermal energy created by the sun’s rays in future projects.
Thermal storage technologies enabled BrightSource to be more efficient in generating power.
This project’s use of storage technologies also enabled Brightsourceto fetch higher electricity prices hence more profit.
The use of new solar thermal technologies such as “dry cooling” would help the sponsor address environmental concerns while simultaneously reducing water usage by more than 90 percent.
Thermal storage energy was also more economical and would help the sponsor organization cut down expenses on future projects.
Project scope/ objectives/ requirement
Thecompletion of the project took almost two years that is between 2011 to 2013
The cost of constructing theIvanpahsolar thermal power plant was around $ 2.2 billion, and the largest investor in the project was NRG Energy, which contributed.
The project required a large piece of land, and it would generate 392 MW of electricity.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation System uses (SEGS) uses BrightSources solar tower technology to generate clean and reliable energy for more than 140000 homes.
The use of thermal technology was estimated to be more economical and would allow BrightSource to cut down its expenses and make more profits.
The location of the solar plant required the project sponsor to find an area where the project, if installed, would cause minimal environmental impact.
Construction of the project required legal compliance from different environmental groups.
Project sponsors hired 150 biologists to oversee the protection of endangered species such as tortoises, and a total of $ 56 million was spent on tortoise care and relocation.
A critical element in the economics of renewable energy was a requirement for entrants to secure Purchase Power Agreements (PPAs)
The primary objective of the project sponsor was the need to set up major renewable energy facilities in California to deal with the issue of climate change.
The Ivanpah project deploys around 17000 heliostats, each with two mirrors focusing the solar energy on the broilers located on three centralized solar power towers.
The project’s sponsors expected it to provide more job opportunities during the construction phase; overall, the project’s economic benefit was approximately more than one billion.
The installation of Ivanpah was estimated before the operation to reduce carbon dioxide gas emissions by more than 400000 tons annually.
The project was also designed to reduce the natural impact on the environment compared to photovoltaic facilitiesbecause heliostats do not require much land grading.
The installation of the project was estimated to promote more efficiency in the generation of electricity.
The construction of the Ivanpah thermal solar power plant required the location of a suitable site that would accommodate three different plants.
BrightSource secured a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy to help reduce the financing costs of its solar power projects.
Compliance with environmental group regulations and the U.S. federal land department requirement.
Ivanpah would employ 170,000 low-impact heliostatssoftware-controlled mirrors tilted with the sun’s rays and reflected the sunlight to a boiler atop a tower.
Purchase Power Agreements (PPA) of the U.S. required the sponsor to fund and maintain facilities and then sell electricity to utilities under long-term contracts (typically 20-25 years) at a fixed price.
Involvement of all stakeholders, including the Bureau of Land Management, Defenders of Wildlife, biologists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, and the executive director, Sierra Club
For future projects, BrightSource needed to use an economically viable and technologically feasible thermal storage system for energy created by the suns rays.
The estimated cost of constructing the Ivanpah solar thermal power plant was $ 2.2 billion.
Brightsource secured a loan worth $ 1.6 billion from the department of energy, and it also had an investment worth $ 615.This, together with the government incentives, helped the company to get the project off the ground
BrightSourceinstalled fencing to prevent relocated tortoises from returning to the plant site and entering a potentially dangerous situation, the 50 miles of fencing cost $2.5 million.
The cost of construction, labor, marketing, and negotiations for 100MW CSP alone was around $ 500 million.
The project’s first step entailed securing adequate financing from the project sponsor and the financier.
This was then followed by site selection, which again led to the negotiations with different stakeholders such as the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the California Energy Commission (CEC), and utility customers.
The next step-involved submission of an application to acquire the right to use federal land for the project
Compliance with the requirements of environmental stakeholders
Certification to proceed with the project is then awarded
Then finally, the construction of the project begins with completion
The project was accepted because it would protect and provide suitable alternatives to endangered species such as tortoises.
The project was also acceptable if it could minimize the disruption of wildlife or recreational opportunities while simultaneously becoming economically viable in producing vast amounts of energy.
The balance between climate change issues and renewable energy would result in the acceptance of the project.
Ultimately, the project was left under the management of the federal land department (Bureau of Land Management)
January 2013 marked the installation of 100000th heliostat at Ivanpah,and this was a milestone achievement for BrightSource Energy.
Despite this project’s successes and milestones, some environmental groups still have legal challenges to this project.
The lawsuit against the company forced the CEO to allocate financial resources to deal with the issue but with some policy concerns.
The lawsuits against the company have also made the CEO mix views regarding future projects.
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