NRG Solar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, has announced that the Ivanpah solar thermal power project in California has achieved commercial operation.
All the three units at the 392MW Ivanpah project are now delivering electricity to California's grid. NRG Energy is supplying power generated at Units 1 and 3 of the Ivanpah project to Pacific Gas & Electric under two long-term power purchase agreements, while power generated at Unit 2 is being supplied to Southern California Edison.
NRG Solar president Tom Doyle noted Cleantech innovations such as Ivanpah are critical to establishing the US leadership in large-scale, clean-energy technology that will keep the economy globally competitive over the next several decades.
Doyle said, "We see Ivanpah changing the energy landscape by proving that utility-scale solar is not only possible, but incredibly beneficial to both the economy and in how we produce and consume energy.
"Whether it's partnering, developing or investing, NRG will continue to provide a diverse set of solutions and technologies to get the US to the ultimate goal of providing affordable, reliable clean energy for everyone."
The Ivanpah solar thermal power project has been jointly developed by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy, and it will be operated by NRG Energy. Construction work on the project commenced in October 2010.
BrightSource Energy has provided 173,500 heliostats, solar field integration software and a solar receiver steam generator for the power project. Bechtel has provided engineering, procurement, and construction services for the project.
US Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office has provided a $1.6bn loan guarantee for the Ivanpah project.
According to NRG Energy, the Ivanpah solar thermal power project is the largest of 11 operational utility-scale solar facilities in three states in which the company has ownership interest.
It is also one of several NRG Energy assets that are subject to a right of first offer agreement between NRG Energy and NRG Yield, NRG Energy's publicly owned subsidiary.
The project, which accounts for nearly 30% of all solar thermal energy currently operational in the US, has three 459ft tall solar power towers. It can supply clean energy to approximately 140,000 California homes.
Image: A view of the Ivanpah solar thermal power project Tower 1 and power block from the solar field. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire/ NRG Energy.