BrightSource & Bechtel Partner for 440 MW of Solar Thermal Power Plants


photo: BrightSource

Solar thermal power developer BrightSource Energy has literally gigawatts of power plants in the works -- but very little actually completed so far. Greentech Media calls the financing of all these one of the big questions in renewable energy, and it certainly is. A bit of light has been shed on that though: BrightSource has announced that mega-firm Bechtel has been selected to build and help finance three of them:The three plants will be part of the Ivanpah Solar Electricity Generating System in California and will have a total capacity of 440 MW (a slight down-sizing from initial plans it seems).

BrightSource says the facility will employ 1,000 people during construction and create 86 permanent jobs -- all totaling an estimated total economic benefit of $3 billion.

As far as the financing of the projects, the details have not been disclosed, but Bechtel will become an equity investor in the project, as well as being in charge of its engineering and construction.

Bechtel's Perhaps Not So Clean Past
Being the largest engineering firm in the US, and the seventh-largest privately held company as well, Bechtel has come under fire for much of its existence. It was responsible for the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 30s, and more recently the Channel Tunnel and a whole suite of mega-projects.

Controversial elements in its past (and present) include alleged mismanagement of Boston's Big Dig, illegal resource extraction in the Democratic Republic of Congo, connections to the Bin Laden family, and the manner in which it secured reconstruction projects in Iraq.

More: BrightSource
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Tags: California | Renewable Energy | Solar Power