Beacon Energy CEC Approved

DFN: Beacon Energy project received CEC approval. Next week, it’s Blythe project is up for consideration. See article below for details.

Abengoa wins California solar plant approval

Wed Sep 8, 2010 7:22pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) The California Energy Commission on Wednesday gave regulatory approval to Spanish conglomerate Abengoa SA’s 250 megawatt solar thermal plant in San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles.

Abengoa Solar Inc, a U.S. unit of the Spanish engineering group, plans to begin construction of the plant by year end, which will qualify the company for stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

This is the final approval required, a CEC spokesman said. Abengoa has an agreement with utility PG&E Corp to purchase electricity generated by the plant.

The plant will make electricity by using mirrors to heat a fluid that generates steam, which expands through steam turbine generators. The technique is known as parabolic trough technology.

Seven more large solar thermal plants are scheduled to go before state regulators for approval by year end. Those seven, if approved, plus the Abengoa plant and a German-owned plant will generate 4,300 megawatts of solar power.

Many of the proposed plants are on public land, which requires an additional step of winning approval from the Bureau of Land Management. The Abengoa plant is on private land.

Last month, the CEC approved the 250 megawatt Beacon Solar Energy Project from Germany’s Solar Millennium AG.

Next week, the CEC will vote on another solar plant proposed by Solar Millennium and partner Chevron Energy Solutions. At 1,000 megawatts, the planned plant near the California-Arizona border would be one of the world’s largest solar plants.

(Reporting by Sarah McBride: Editing by Mary Milliken and Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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