This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 19, 2014

World’s Largest Concentrating Solar Power Plant Opens in California

A tower in the desert is surrounded by mirrors.

Ivanpah, the world's largest concentrating solar plant, opened in California on February 13.
Credit: BrightSource Energy

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world’s largest concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, officially opened on February 13. As the first commercial deployment of innovative power tower CSP technology in the United States, the Ivanpah project was the recipient of a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office.

Ivanpah has the capacity to generate 392 megawatts of electricity—enough to power 94,400 average American homes—most of which will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements to Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison Company. The project is a joint effort by NRG, Google, and BrightSource Energy.

Ivanpah is one of five CSP projects that received loan guarantees from the Energy Department. When these projects are completed, they will provide a combined 1.26 gigawatts of electric capacity. These loan guarantees are also helping to finance the first solar thermal storage project and the first power tower with solar thermal storage in the United States, as well as some of the world’s largest parabolic trough CSP plants. See the Energy Department news release.