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BrightSource, Abengoa partner to develop 500MW Palen solar plant

15 Mar 2013

Solar thermal plant developer BrightSource Energy has teamed with Abengoa to develop the world’s two largest solar power towers in California, US at the 500MW Palen Solar Electric Generating System.

Abengoa will build the plants as the EPC contractor, and will lead the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the plants once online. BrightSource, meanwhile, will provide the solar field technology and plant design.

The Palen project consists of two 250MW units located in a Department of Interior Solar Energy Zone in Riverside County, California.

Permitting and development are already under way, and construction is expected to begin at the end of 2013. The solar plants are expected to come online in 2016.

The Palen site originally received authorisation from the California Energy Commission (CEC) for construction and operation of a 500MW solar thermal project, and then in December 2012, BrightSource filed an amendment to the existing permit to deploy solar power tower technology.

The new design, a joint statement said, will reduce the project footprint by 13 per cent, from 4,366 acres to approximately 3,800 acres, and use 50 per cent less water by deploying a dry-cooling technology.

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