The City has retained Inland Energy, Inc. to manage the development of the plant which has been named the “Palmdale Hybrid Power Plant” (PHPP).
In response to the looming shortage of electric generating capacity facing Southern California and to help generate local economic growth, the City of Palmdale unanimously voted on September 13, 2005 to develop a 570 megawatt (MW) “hybrid” power plant near Plant 42.
PHPP will be the nation’s first “hybrid” plant, combining the ultra high efficiency of the modern natural gas fired combined cycle technology with the proven renewable design of a solar thermal system, using parabolic trough mirrors to capture the sun’s energy and turn it into electricity. Much like a hybrid car, this approach combines the best features of two-state-of-the-art technologies to produce a design that is an improvement over either one as stand-alone technologies. The result will be the cleanest and most efficient fossil fuel fired plant in the world.
The City decided to use the solar thermal technology for the Project’s renewable component because the sun’s recoverable energy levels in the High Desert are among the highest in the world. This, coupled with the fact that high population concentrations (therefore high demand for energy) are found nearby, makes this one of the most valuable and unique renewable energy resources in the world. PHPP will produce up to 50 MW of electricity from the solar component alone, which will require 250 acres of mirrors.
The proposed Palmdale project would have a net electrical output of 570 megawatts (MW), with construction planned to begin in summer of 2009 and commercial operation planned by the 2nd quarter of 2011. Palmdale is designed to use solar technology to generate a portion of the project’s output and thereby support the State of California’s goals of increasing the percentage of renewable energy supplies. Primary equipment for the generating facility would include two natural gas-fired combustion turbine-generation (CTGs) rates at 155 MW each, two heat recovery steam generators (HRSFs), one steam turbine-generator (STG) rated at 260 MW, and 250 acres of parabolic solar-thermal collectors with associated heat transfer equipment. The solar-thermal collectors would contribute up to 50 MW of the STG’s output.