BrightSource Solar Energy Teams up with Bectel to Build Large California Solar Energy Facility


Following a previous agreement made between the BrightSource solar energy  company and California’s PG&E utility company,  a recent article in Israel’s financial newspaper, Globes (9.10.2009)  notedthat  the American-Israeli solar energy giant is now partnering withthe American Bectel construction contracting company to build a 440megawatt solar energy power plant in southeastern California.

Involving the Ivanpah Solar Electricity Generating System, theproject will consists of three separate solar energy plants that willsell the generated electricity to both Pacific Gas and Electric andCalifornia Edison.

The technology incorporated into the BrightSource energy systems has its origins with a company called Luz International, founded by Arnold Goldman. The Luz company, which later became known asLuz II, became a BrightSource subsidiary, Brightsource IndustriesIsrael Ltd (BSII) in 2006. In its 30 year  history, the Luz solarplants founded by Goldman have generated more than 11,000gigawatt-hours of electricity.

BrightSource, which already has entered into contractswith both utility companies to provide up to 2.6 gigawatts ofelectricity, has one of the most powerful solar energy systemsdeveloped to date; consisting of its patented Luz Power Tower 550 technology whichutilizes a large number of specially designed mirrors placed in acircular fashion around a central tower that contains a boiler whichcreates the steam needed to power a turbine for generating electricity.

Brightsource’s pilot solar energy plant , utilizing the  LPT 550 solar system, is employed at the Solar Energy Development Center  inIsrael’s southern Negev region . Now in operation for over a year, theSEDC is producing the world’s highest temperature turbine quality steampower from solar energy.

As noted in the previous article, the first Ivanpah solar energy plant is due to begin operation in 2012. But with the giant Bectel engineeringand materials handling company now in the picture, the actual operatingdate for the solar plant might be a lot sooner.

How the completed project will look like is shown in the illustration via the State of California, Energy Commission.



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