The California Energy Commission has approved the Beacon Solar Energy project in the Mojave Desert, making it the first solar thermal farm regulators have permitted in twenty years. The $1 billion, 250-megawatt facility will be built and managed by NextEra Energy Resources.
The Beacon project covers over 2,000 acres of private land in Kern County, California, where long rows of curved mirrors will be used to collect solar energy to heat water for commercial and residential use.
The project coincides with California's goal of acquiring 20% of their electricity from renewable sources. But don't get too excited yet. Before it can break ground, NextEra has to get a utility company to agree to buy the power the plant produces.
- Mitchell Flexo
Photo: The solar electric farm at Kramer Junction in the Mojave Desert. (NextEra)