Whittemore, Solar Firm Sign Deal

By: Brendan Riley AP
By: Brendan Riley AP

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada developer Harvey Whittemore and
BrightSource Energy Inc. have reached an agreement on a solar-thermal project that could provide up to 600 megawatts of power for Whittemore's Coyote Springs development and other markets in Nevada and California.

The project would be built on a six-square-mile site in Lincoln County near existing power transmission lines, and should be on line by 2012. Financial terms of the deal between Whittemore and Brightsource, based in Oakland, Calif., weren't disclosed.

Whittemore and BrightSource representatives said the project already has received environmental permits from various federal, state and county agencies.

BrightSource plans to set up a mirror field that will reflect sunlight onto a boiler to produce high-temperature steam. The steam runs into a turbine which generates electricity.

Coyote Springs, located on 43,000 acres of desert land about 50 miles north of Las Vegas along U.S. 93, eventually could have more than 150,000 homes plus a business district. A golf course opened last year.

Part of the site is in Clark County, which in December approved rezoning of 125 acres of land to allow a hotel-casino. Whittemore has said he plans to ask for more gambling-related approvals on the Lincoln County side of the development in the next few years.

The Coyote Springs solar power deal follows agreements over the past year between BrightSource and Southern California Edison for
seven projects totaling 1,300 megawatts and with Pacific Gas & Electric for up to 900 megawatts of solar-thermal power.

The company also signed an agreement in December with Siemens for 400 megawatts of solar-thermal power to be produced at Siemen's Ivanpah complex in California's Mojave Desert.

The combined megawatts from the various projects would be enough
to provide power to more than 1 million homes.

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