Reflecting the state\u2019s concern for not only the cost of renewables development, but also the increasing requirement for stored electricity from solar and wind projects, the $2.7 billion Hidden Hills solar thermal project was withdrawn from the California Energy Commission\u2019s license process last month. \tIt appears BrightSource\u2019s solar thermal project could be reworked to include a storage component. The original plan was to use photovoltaics with mirrors to concentrate heat to run turbines. \u201cThe topic du jour\u201d is integrating photovoltaics and wind, BrightSource spokesperson Keely Wachs told Current April 4. That allows the project to come back and be bid into the California Independent System Operator storage market at the Hidden Hills site. The termination was \u201cmutually agreed\u201d upon by developer BrightSource and utility contractor Pacific Gas & Electric, according to Wachs. He added that suspending the application \u201cavoids unnecessary time and expense.\u201d Time and expense on behalf of the California Energy Commission was already invested. The project was controversial, indicated by five days of hearings that commission staff put into it last month (Current, March 15, 2013). The project is big\u2014expected to cover on 3,200 acres. There were state and regional concerns over its effect on wildlife and short-term greenhouse gas emissions. The commission conducted public hearings over the proposal away from its Sacramento headquarters in Shoshone. PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles said the project wasn\u2019t likely to meet its online date\u2014next year. That contributed to the decision. The California Public Utilities Commission also has a big say on renewables development because it must approve solar, wind and other alternative developers\u2019 contracts with investor-owned utilities. In recent decisions, the CPUC has concentrated more on the cost of new renewables developments. As a $2.7 billion project, Hidden Hills would likely draw state regulators\u2019 attention. Yet, even high-cost solar projects that add storage have been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. Its staff is still investigating the cost-effectiveness of solar storage contracts. \tTechnically, BrightSource cited its requirement for more transmission upgrades to connect any future power plant as a reason to pull Hidden Hills from the Energy Commission\u2019s permit process. Even though withdrawn at the applicant\u2019s request, the developer requested the removal not be permanent. Wachs noted BrightSource wants to keep the site in Inyo County.