The Great Solar Epic Fail of All Time?
PG&E wants permission from the California Public Utilities Commission to overlook the shortfall and give Ivanpah another year to sort out its problems, warning that allowing its power contracts to default could force the facility to shut down. California electric utility regulators will decide today whether the Ivanpah solar plant in northeastern San Bernardino County should get more time to increase its electricity production. The CSP park in the Mojave Desert is a partnership between NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and BrightSource Energy Inc. “Production levels have been below the guaranteed energy” required in agreements the owners signed, according to a draft resolution filed in advance of the meeting.
A presentation revealed in 2012 that plant builder BrightSource Energy had told Energy Department officials before winning the loan guarantee that its cash position was “precarious” and said the project’s failure would be a “major embarrassment” to the White House.
PG&E described the proposal in a statement Wednesday as “reasonable and in the best interest of our customers”, adding that the plant helps further state and federal renewable policy goals. The forbearance agreements would end August 1 unless PG&E agrees to a six-month extension.