The California Energy Commission has licensed the production of a proposed Beacon Solar Energy Project, the first solar thermal power project permitted in 20 years.

Beacon Solar will build, own and operate the proposed concentrated solar electric generating facility with a capacity of 250MW in Kern County, California.

The project will use parabolic trough solar thermal technology to produce electrical power using a steam turbine generator fed from a solar steam generator.

The licence for the plant is a first in 20 years, since the 1990 approval given by the commission for the Luz Solar Electric Generating Systems (SEGS) IX and Luz SEGS X solar plants.

The presiding member’s proposed decision (PMPD) for the Beacon Solar Energy Project observed that the facility will not significantly impact the environment and complies with laws and regulations.