BrightSource focuses its selection process on areas of high insolation, or solar radiation, for project sites to maximize land efficiency and minimize a project’s footprint. Whenever possible, we choose areas that are near roads and existing electric transmission lines, emphasizing development in spaces where human activity has already occurred and environmental impacts can be further minimized. Additionally, unlike other solar thermal technologies, ours does not require completely level ground or wide-open space. Such flexibility in design is inherently more adaptable and environmentally beneficial.
The company’s proprietary technology minimizes grading and leveling while maximizing retention of existing vegetation and natural features. Pylons are set into the ground with a low-impact “pylon driver”. Heliostats, or mirrors, are then mounted on the pylons. This process corresponds to the area’s natural contours and eliminates the need for foundations and concrete pads in the field. Vegetation in the solar field co-exists below the mirrors, trimmed so mirrors can track the sun. By reducing the need for concrete foundations, our technology promotes natural draining and run-off to avoid corrosion and preserve, to a greater extent, a site’s natural hydrologic cycle.
Our sustainable construction practices are as cost-effective as they are environmentally sensitive. Responsible development that reduces grading and unnecessary foundations avoids additional costs while enabling us to develop sloped terrain and non-symmetrical sites.