Bechtel announced today that the 377-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is now operational and delivering electricity to California customers. The solar-thermal facility, which is the world’s largest, features three 450-foot-high towers that produce enough clean, renewable electricity to power 140,000 homes. Bechtel provided engineering, procurement, construction, and start-up services for the project. Ivanpah, located in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, is a joint effort of NRG, Google, and BrightSource Energy.
“We achieved commercial operation because of a well-coordinated effort between the project affiliates and Bechtel,” said Toby Seay, president of Bechtel’s power business unit. “We successfully executed a project of this size and complexity thanks to consistent teamwork and a focus on safety and quality. It is a privilege to be a part of an iconic project that will bring clean, sustainable power to tens of thousands of households for years to come.”
Bechtel built Ivanpah’s solar field, which includes 173,500 heliostats that follow the sun’s trajectory, solar-field-integration software, and a solar-receiver steam generator. The team exceeded its goal of installing 500 heliostats per day and achieved more than 800 heliostat installations per day at peak construction.
The company also designed, procured, and built the project’s trio of power towers and successfully placed 2,200-ton boilers on top of each tower. In addition, the team executed the project safely, working 31 months and 7.3 million hours without a lost-time accident.
In the last year, Bechtel has built three of the world’s largest solar facilities, including Ivanpah. In 2013, the company also completed the California Solar Valley Ranch photovoltaic project and the Catalina Solar Photovoltaic Generating Facility, also in California.