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An electric company from California purchased 1,300 megawatts of solar energy from Bright Source (formerly Luz 2)

Bright Source will supply the annual consumption of 845 thousand homes

Bright Source's system as photographed at the Solar Energy Development Center, in the Rotem Industrial Park in Dimona. PR photo: Ilon Paz
Bright Source's system as photographed at the Solar Energy Development Center, in the Rotem Industrial Park in Dimona. PR photo: Ilon Paz

Southern California Edison has signed a series of contracts with Brightsource Energy (formerly Luz 2) for the supply of 1,300 megawatts of solar energy, which will supply the annual consumption of 845 homes.

"These contracts reflect a significant addition to our renewable energy offering, which is already the largest in the US," said Stuart Hemphill, Southern California's vice president of renewable and alternative energy. "This innovative solar technology will help us further strengthen our position as the leading consumer of solar energy in the US."

"The agreement is a milestone and illustrates the growing demand for solar energy as a reliable source for supplying needs in the volumes required by electricity companies," said John Woolard, CEO of Brightsource Energy. "Our technology has advanced solar development and offers the highest level of efficiency in the industry. We look forward to working together with Southern California Edison to provide clean, reliable solar energy at competitive prices."

The agreement, which now needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, includes seven contracts totaling 1,300 megawatts. The first power plant, with a scope of 100 megawatts in Ivanpah, California, could start operating as early as 2013 and is expected to produce 286 thousand megawatt hours of renewable energy annually. At Brightsource, you will build and take care of the commercial operation of each of the stations as quickly as possible according to the pace of progress in obtaining the approvals and establishing the infrastructures. When the projects, with a scope of 1,300 megawatts, reach a full activity level, they will produce 3.7 billion kilowatt hours of clean energy and save carbon dioxide emissions to the extent of two million tons per year - equivalent to taking more than 355 thousand cars off the road.

Brightsource Energy's exclusive Luz 550 (LPT 550) power stations are based on the proven technology of Migdal Shemesh. The system uses thousands of small mirrors, known as heliostats, which reflect sunlight to the power tower in order to produce steam at high heat. The steam is transported through pipes to a regular turbine, which produces electricity. In order to conserve precious desert water, the 550 LPT system uses air cooling to turn the steam back into water. The water is then returned to the boiler in an environmentally friendly closed circuit system. The system is designed to enable the achievement of the highest level of operational efficiency at the lowest price in the industry. Thanks to its technological pioneering, Brightsource was recognized as a "technological pioneer" by the World Economic Forum for 2009. Brightsource Energy, which was the only solar company to win the prestigious title, won it thanks to its assistance to the electric companies and industrial consumers in the world to reduce dependence on fossil fuels through the supply of energy Clean, cheap and reliable solar.

"The efficiency improvement inherent in the LPT550 system reflects the many years of experience of our engineering team - a pioneering team in thermo-solar technology for about three decades," said Tom Doyle, Senior Vice President of Project Development at Brightsource Energy. "We combined this experience with development capabilities at an international level in order to help our customers reduce their dependence on fossil fuels."

About Brightsource Energy

Brightsource Energy provides clean, reliable and cheap solar energy to electric companies and industrial companies all over the world. Brightsource Energy's team has more than 30 years of experience in the development, construction and operation of the largest solar energy facilities in the world. The company has signed contracts to supply up to 2,200 megawatts of electricity using its solar technology. Brightsource Energy's solar power plants lead the industry in the field of environmental development and help customers reduce dependence on fuels. Brightsource Energy, whose offices are located in Oakland California, is a privately owned company with operations in the US and Israel.
Brightsource Industries (Israel) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brightsource Energy. The company, which operates from Jerusalem, is responsible for the development of the thermo-solar technology, the engineering of the facilities, the development and the supply of the solar fields for all Brightsource facilities.

In June 2008, the company inaugurated the center for the development of solar energy in Rotem in the Negev. The facility includes more than 1,600 full-size heliostats and a 60-meter-tall tower topped by a 15-meter-tall solar heating boiler. The facility in Rotem has successfully passed tests of continuous commercial operation, and will allow the company to test equipment, materials and processes as well as construction and operation methods.

Brightsource Industries (Israel) and Dalkia, the energy arm of the Violia Group in Israel, have passed the first stage of checking the threshold conditions for competing in the BOT tender for the construction of a solar station in Bashlim in the Negev.

Southern California Edison is currently the leading American company in the purchase of renewable energies and it purchases for its customers more than 80% of the solar energy produced in the USA.

In 2007, the Electric Company purchased approximately 12.5 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy, which is approximately 16% of its total electricity supply. The company has signed a sufficient number of contracts to provide 20% or more of its customers' energy needs through renewable energy by 2010.

The company also recently signed two contracts for the supply of wind energy. One contract, signed with Puget Sound Energy on January 19, includes a commitment to supply 2,000 gigawatt hours over two years. The stations will operate in Columbia and Kittitas counties in the state of Washington. Another contract was signed with AES Mountainview for the supply of 66.6 MW from a wind farm in the San Gorgoni Pass near Palm Springs. The 10-year contract was signed in November 2008.

In addition, Southern California announced a new program, available to all renewable energy technologies of 20 megawatts or less. The program is designed to help additional small electricity providers contribute to the delivery of California's ambitious goals in the field of renewable energy and environmental quality. The program provides a faster and simpler channel for projects in the field of renewable energy, with a scope of less than 20 megawatts, so that they can supply energy to electricity companies.

The company's activity in the field of renewable energy includes: 1,137 megawatts of wind energy, 906 megawatts of geothermal energy, 356 megawatts of solar energy, 185 megawatts of biomass energy, 332 megawatts of hydro energy.

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