BrightSource has approximately 1.8 gigawatts of power under contracts with Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric Company, California’s two largest utilities. In addition, the company manages an approximately 90,000 acre development site portfolio in California and the U.S. Southwest that has the potential to accommodate approximately 9 GW of installed capacity.
We select project areas that are near roads and existing transmission lines – places where human activity has already left its mark, such as grazing lands; where there is a reduced need for new transmission lines, and where environmental impacts can be minimized.
Our systems use a low impact design with minimal grading and disruption of soil and plants. The heliostats used to focus the sun’s energy on our central tower are mounted on pylons that are placed directly into the ground. This approach minimizes the need for grading and use of concrete pads that are common in other renewable energy technologies, such as PV, wind and other competing solar thermal systems. The use of individual pylons also allows for vegetation to co-exist within our solar field and to avoid areas of sensitive habitat. Our technology is also extremely efficient and optimized to capture as much of the solar resource as possible in each location, generating the most energy from the land and resources used to build and operate our plants.