Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility

San Bernardino County, California

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility is currently the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, delivering clean, reliable solar electricity to PG&E and Southern California Edison. The 370-megawatt solar complex is in the Mojave Desert approximately five miles from the California-Nevada border on federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The complex uses more than 300,000 software-controlled mirrors to focus the power of the sun on solar receivers atop power towers. The facility will generate nearly double the amount of commercial solar thermal electricity produced in the U.S. today.

The 3,500-acre Ivanpah Solar Generating Facility – two 110-megawatt facilities and one 220-megawatt facility – was built in three phases using BrightSource Energy’s LPT solar thermal technology. Michael Baker provided boundary, construction equipment control, project control and construction lay out surveys for the project. The electricity generated by all three plants is enough to serve more than 140,000 homes in California during the peak hours of the day. The complex will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 450,000 tons per year, the equivalent of removing 75,000 cars off the road annually.

The Ivanpah facility is the first large-scale solar thermal project built in California in nearly two decades and has several other environmental benefits, including its closed-loop dry-cooling technology, which reduces water use by 90 percent. The facility also cuts major air pollutants by 85 percent, compared to new natural gas-fired power plants, and retains the project site’s natural landscape, allowing vegetation to coexist within the solar field below the mirrors.


“The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility, the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, is delivering clean renewable electricity and proving that utility-scale solar is beneficial to not only the environment and local economy, but in how we produce and consume energy.”  

Larry T.
Survey/Mapping Department Manager (Ontario, CA)

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