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California Energy Commission raises environmental concerns against 500MW solar project

CTBR Staff Writer Published 26 December 2012

The staff at the California Energy Commission has raised concerns against the proposed 500MW Hidden Hills solar thermal power project to be developed by BrightSource Energy.

Environmental impact on biological resources besides concerns on utilization of cultural resources, land, and visual resources were cited as reasons for the opposition to the proposed plant.

"Unmitigated environmental impacts and non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations would require the Commission to adopt override findings if the project is approved," the CEC said in a statement.

The proposed project consists of two-250MW solar plants, each employing 85,000 heliostats, located on a 3,277a private tract of land.

Construction of the project is expected to take 29 months for completion and is expected to start in the middle of 2013, on receipt of necessary approvals, reported Reuters.

Estimated cost of the project is currently pegged at $2.2bn.