Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System
Power Plant Licensing Case
11-AFC-02 (Application For Certification)
Project Status: In Review
Committee Overseeing This Case:
Karen Douglas, Commissioner, Presiding Member
David Hochschild, Commissioner, Associate Member
Hearing Officer: Kenneth Celli
- 8/5/2011 - Application for Certification (AFC) filed
- 10/5/11 - Commission accepts AFC as "data adequate."
- 5/25/12 - Commission staff releases Preliminary Staff Analysis.
- 12/21/12 - Commission staff releases Final Staff Assessment.
- 4/3/13 - Applicant submits Notice of Suspension.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
The Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System (HHSEGS) is being developed by Hidden Hills Solar I, LLC, and Hidden Hills Solar II, LLC (the Applicant), wholly owned subsidiaries of Hidden Hills Solar Holdings, LLC, (their sole member) which is in turn a wholly owned subsidiary of BrightSource Energy, Inc. (BrightSource) (its sole member), a Delaware corporation.
HHSEGS will be located on approximately 3,277 acres (5.12 square miles) of privately owned land in Inyo County, California, adjacent to the Nevada border. The project site is approximately 18 miles south of Pahrump, Nevada, and approximately 45 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada.
HHSEGS will comprise two solar fields and associated facilities: the northern solar plant (Solar Plant 1) and the southern solar plant (Solar Plant 2). Each solar plant will generate 270 megawatts (MW) gross (250 MW net), for a total net output of 500 MW. Solar Plant 1 will occupy approximately 1,483 acres (or 2.3 square miles), and Solar Plant 2 will occupy approximately 1,510 acres (or 2.4 square miles). A 103 acre common area will be established on the southeastern corner of the site to accommodate an administration, warehouse, and maintenance complex, and an onsite switchyard. A temporary construction laydown and parking area on the west side of the site will occupy approximately 180 acres.
Each solar plant will use heliostats, which are elevated mirrors guided by a tracking system mounted on a pylon. Their purpose is to focus the suns rays on a solar receiver steam generator (SRSG) atop a solar power tower near the center of each solar field. The solar power tower technology for the HHSEGS project design incorporates a 750-foot-tall solar power tower that allows the heliostat rows to be placed closer together, with the mirrors at a steeper angle. The desired goal of the technology is to reduce mirror shading and allow more heliostats to be placed per acre.
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.
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