Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hybrid Solar-Gas Power Plant Planned For High Desert

The California Energy Commission has greenlighted an application to build the U.S.'s first solar-natural gas hybrid power plant in Southern California's High Desert. The plant will be built on a former Air Force Base outside Victorville - about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles - and would integrate a 50-megawatt solar trough power station into a 500-megawatt natural gas-fired plant. Solar energy would produce 10 percent of the plant's electricity during peak demand times to lower greenhouse gas emissions from the facility, according to the application. The project is being developed by Newport Beach's Inland Energy for the city of Victorville. "We felt there was a direct analogy between the way renewable resources are used and hybrid cars," Inland Energy executive VP Tom Barnett told Green Wombat. "Electric cars have their limitations but hybrids have taken off. We felt same concept applied to a power plant. We have a solar power plant with the reliability of a combined natural gas cycle plant. We set out to figure out how to integrate solar thermal with gas." more

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