California Energy Commission - 23 Nov 09

Prof. Robert B. Laughlin
Department of Physics
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
(Copied 7 Dec 09)

(Solar Millennium) Blythe Solar Power Project

Docket Number: 09-AFC-6
(Application For Certification)
Committee Overseeing This Case:
Karen Douglas, Commissioner
Presiding Member
Jeffrey D. Byron, Commissioner
Associate Member
Hearing Officer: Raoul Renaud

Key Dates


Solar Millennium, LLC and Chevron Energy Solutions, the joint developers of this project, propose to construct, own, and operate the Blythe Solar Power Project. The project is a concentrated solar thermal electric generating facility with four adjacent, independent, and identical solar plants of 250 megawatt (MW) nominal capacity each for a total capacity of 1,000 MW nominal.

The project will utilize solar parabolic trough technology to generate electricity. With this technology, arrays of parabolic mirrors collect heat energy from the sun and refocus the radiation on a receiver tube located at the focal point of the parabola. A heat transfer fluid (HTF) is heated to high temperature (750°F) as it circulates through the receiver tubes. The heated HTF is then piped through a series of heat exchangers where it releases its stored heat to generate high pressure steam. The steam is then fed to a traditional steam turbine generator where electricity is produced.

The project site is located approximately two miles north of U.S. Interstate-10 (I-10) and eight miles west of the City of Blythe in an unincorporated area of Riverside County, California. The Blythe Airport is about one mile south of the site. The applicants have applied for a fight-of-way (ROW) grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for about 9,400 acres of flat desert terrain. The total area that will be disturbed by project construction and operation will be about 7,030 acres. The area inside the project's security fence, within which all project facilities will be located, will occupy approximately 5,950 acres.

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 Siting Case Contact:

Alan Solomon
Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-15
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 653-8236

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Public Adviser
California Energy Commission
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Phone: 916-654-4489
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Last Modified: 23 Nov 09