In California in the past few months, 3,500 megawatts of solar have been approved. This is revolutionary. Current total energy usage is approximately 26,000 to 32,000 megawatts of energy. Approved solar plants are now 10 percent of what is used in energy. This makes California the leader in the world.
The following comments are from John Woolard of Brightsource speaking at October 27th Press Conference, Ivanpah, California:
A few facts about Ivanpah, just to put it in perspective: Ivanpah is now the world’s largest solar plant under construction. And it takes a lot to get a solar plant under construction. You’ve got to have transmission, you’ve got to have permits, you’ve got to have investors, you’ve got to have an EPC contractor — we’re honored to have Bechtel here as our EPC contractor.
When it’s completed, Ivanpah will double the amount of solar thermal produced in the U.S.
There’s a lot of talk about the U.S. and competiveness and China. And Ivanpah alone, one plant, one facility, is two times larger than all of the solar that came in from China that was installed last year — so one plant, one facility, bigger than all of the solar that came in from China last year.
This project, Ivanpah, will have a dramatic effect on helping us meet our state’s clean energy and our climate change goals and in less than two years we’ll be producing some of the most reliable and the lowest carbon-content power anywhere in the country. – Mr. John Woolard, CEO, Brightsource (speaking at Press Conference in Ivanpah, California October 27th, 2010)
Water Saving Environmental Design: Dry Cooling
Ivanpah uses dry-cooling as opposed to wet cooling. Dry cooling uses 3 to 4 percent of the water that wet-cool designs use. In the desert, and in many U.S. states, water is an ever more precious commodity. Dry cooling used in the Ivanpah design, then, is an environmentally responsible design.
A Healthy Environment, A Healthy Economy
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was on hand to make a few comments:
When I ran for governor in 2003 I made it very clear that, you know, we should stop the fight over should we protect the environment or should we protect the economy. I always said that we can do both. And I think that we have proven that over the last few years since I have come into office, that you can put both of those together.
And this is why we went, when I came into office, we immediately, aggressively started building the Hydrogen Highway and we started to pass laws — the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, the Million Solar Roof Initiative to build solar roofs all over the state of California and also to pass AB 32 and to make a commitment, like some other countries have done all around the world, to reduce our greenhouse gases by 25 percent and to bring it back to the 1990 level. So that was our goal and, after 2020, to reduce it an additional 85 percent.
From Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar
Ivanpah is truly a revolutionary project. It is a pioneering project, as was stated earlier. So I was thinking about it today — and people were referencing a moon shot here in California with Ivanpah — I was thinking back to what John Kennedy said back at the beginning of his administration, where he said that we would, in the United States, have the ability, if we only had the courage, to be able to get a man to the moon and we would be able to do that within 10 years. When he made that statement he had the vision of looking way ahead, because none of the facilities had been built, the engineering had not been put together. And so it was a dream and a vision that he had and yet, because of American ingenuity, because of the great people we had involved in those projects, we were able to get a man to the moon within nine years….
But it’s also about our reliance on foreign oil. From the days of Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter in the ’70s and coining the term “energy independence,” the failed policies on energy of the United States have taken us in the opposite direction. We’re now turning the clock back and we’re moving forward in a new direction with respect to that energy future that’s all important for our national security.
And finally, with respect to clean air — we will be able to power the economy of our world through clean energy sources and that’s part of what we’re doing here with capturing the power of the sun.