For Immediate Release: August 26, 2010
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Proposed Decision Recommends License For
Imperial Valley Solar Project

SACRAMENTO – A California Energy Commission siting committee is recommending approval of the planned Imperial Valley Solar Project in Imperial County.

In its presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD) released today, the committee adopted the proposed 709-megawatt project alternative preferred by the federal Bureau of Land Management. The project, even with mitigation measures, will have significant environmental impacts to biological resources, cultural resources, land use, and visual resources. The project will also be inconsistent with a land use provision in the Imperial Valley General Plan. However, the benefits of the project would override those impacts. In addition, the committee determined that the project complies with all other applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards.

Over the past month, the Energy Commission has issued proposed decisions recommending the approval of more than 2,800 megawatts of solar power, including the Imperial Valley Solar Project. The other projects that are recommended to be considered for a license to construct are the 250 MW Abengoa Mojave Solar Project; the 250 MW Beacon Solar Energy Project; the 1,000 MW Blythe Solar Power Project; the 250 MW Genesis Solar Energy Project; and the 370 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Project.

On Wednesday, the full five-member Commission unanimously approved the Beacon Solar Energy Project, the first solar thermal power plant permitted in 20 years.

The proposed decision for the Imperial Valley Solar Project was based solely on the record of facts, which were established during the facility's certification proceeding.

The PMPD is not a final decision on the project. The committee released the document for 30 days of public comment and will consider input before bringing the proposed decision to the full five-member Commission. The entire document can be found on the Commission's website at:

The Imperial Valley Solar Project is being developed by Imperial Valley Solar, LLC in Imperial County, California largely on public land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. The project site is located approximately 14 miles west of El Centro.

The primary equipment for the generating facility would include approximately 28,000 25-kilowatt solar dish Stirling systems, or "SunCatchers", consisting of a solar receiver heat exchanger and a closed-cycle, high efficiency engine designed to convert solar power to rotary power, then driving an electrical generator to produce electricity.

The federal government and the State of California have established the need to increase the development and use of renewable energy in order to enhance the nation's energy independence, meet environmental goals, and create new economic growth opportunities.

For more information on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Executive Order to advance the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard, go to:

More information on the Imperial Valley Solar Project is available at:

# # #