BrightSource Energy pulled the plug on its 500-MW Palen Solar Electric Generating System in California late last month, prompting Greentech to ask whether concentrating solar thermal will ever compete effectively with photovoltaics.
The BrightSource announcement “follows hearings weighing the environmental and cultural impacts that had already forced the project to be downsized,” Wesoff writes. “The original design of two 750-foot solar towers was scaled back to one tower and the potential to add molten-salt energy storage.”
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“We’re withdrawing the project in the interests of a renewable energy solution that best reflects the interests of all the stakeholders in this process,” said BrightSource Vice President Joseph Desmond.