For Immediate Release: March 8, 2012
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Workshop to be held March 13 for Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission staff will conduct a workshop for the proposed Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility.

When: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Where: California Energy Commission, Hearing Room B, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California.

Arrangements have been made for people unable to attend the workshop to participate by telephone and/or by computer. For details, click the link and scroll to page 4:

Why: The purpose of the workshop is to allow staff, the applicant, interested agencies, and the public to discuss biological resources related to the project, including data requests filed by Commission staff on February 27.

What: The developers for the 750-megawatt (MW) project are Rio Mesa Solar I, LLC, Rio Mesa Solar II, LLC, and Rio Mesa Solar III, LLC, which are subsidiaries of BrightSource Energy, Inc.

The proposed project consists of three 250-MW solar thermal power plants located on the Palo Verde Mesa in Riverside County, about 13 miles southwest of Blythe. The proposed 5,750-acre site is located partially on private land and partially on public land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Commission and BLM plan to conduct a joint state and federal environmental review of the project.

Each solar plant would use heliostats - elevated mirrors guided by a tracking system mounted on a pylon - to focus the sun's rays on a receiver located atop of a 750-foot-tall solar power tower near the center of each solar field. Each plant would use about 85,000 heliostats.

The estimated capital cost for the project is about $3 billion. If the project is approved, construction of the facility, from site preparation and grading to commercial operation, would take place from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016. The project would average 1,040 workers per month during the 36-month construction period, with a maximum of 2,493 at the peak. One-hundred fifty full-time employees would be needed when the project is operating, according to the applicant.

More information on the Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility can be found at:

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