Renewable Project Outcomes a Mixed Bag

By Published On: June 25, 2010

While one major solar project may be slipping another appears on track. At the same time, a biomass project also appears to have bitten the dust. A proposed permit for the Abengoa facility is expected at the end of July in spite of unresolved issues. Water use is the primary question, said California Energy Commission staff June 21. Spanish developer Abengoa hopes to site parabolic troughs across 1,725 acres of private land in San Bernardino County. It plans to use 2,160 acre-feet of brackish groundwater/year to cool down the facility and arranged to purchase 5,239 acre-feet of annual water rights to mitigate the water consumption impacts. The news was less bright for another large solar project. The 750 MW Imperial Valley Solar project may not stay on schedule, according to CEC member Jeff Byron. The commission had hoped to render a final licensing decision for the Imperial project in late August. Now, it looks like action won’t come until late September. The project developer, SES Solar, hopes to obtain needed permits and permissions before the end of the year so it can qualify for a federal grant that would cover 30 percent of the construction costs. The latest delay stems from concerns over how the project may affect cultural resources. Elsewhere, plans to build the 107 MW San Joaquin Valley solar thermal-biomass hybrid plant collapsed. The developer, Martifer, withdrew all its permitting applications last week.

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