- NRG Energy, co-owner and operator of Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, said its on track to meet the output called for in its contract with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).
- Ivanpah, which is the world's largest concentrated solar power plant, generated 67,260 MWh of electricity in February, more than twice its February 2015 output of 30,273 MWh. NRG claims it can generate as much as 102% of its March target output.
- The announcement follows after California utility regulators approved a proposal by PG&E that aims to avoid a declaration of default through July 31 NRG and its co-owners, BrightSource Energy and Alphabet's Google, pay the utility for undelivered electricity,
Ivanpah has faced a series of controversies ranging from potential environmental impacts to wildlife to how its developers ts developers handled a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee awarded in 2010. But the approval from the California Public Utilities Commission nearly two weeks ago that enables it to meet its contractual agreements signals regulators have more confidence in the plant's future.
BrightSource senior vice president Joseph Desmond told Utility Dive that new 12-month trend data shows the plant came within about 97% of that production target, according to BrightSource Sr VP Joseph Desmond.
“We fully expected the initial performance would be less than 100% of rated capacity but would rise with operator experience and fine tuning of the plant hardware,” Desmond told Utility Dive.
The expectation of normal output under normal weather conditions is 976,000 MWh for year four, Desmond explained. By the end of year two, the contract requires the plant to be at 70% of that output. The data shows Ivanpah’s three units were trending at 96% of that 70% at the end of January 2016.
“February’s 67, 260 MWh is a strong indicator the project is on pace to reach its target obligation by the end of year four, which is 80% of the 976,000 MWh,” he added.