Rio Mesa | Solar Power Plant | Electric Generating System

Rio Mesa

BrightSource Energy has filed an Application for Certification with the California Energy Commission for the development of two 250 megawatt (nominal) solar power plants (500 megawatts nominal combined) in California’s Riverside County. If approved, the Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility (SEGF) will use BrightSource’s proprietary solar thermal energy system and its next generation 250 megawatt solar plant design, which reduces land use by 33% or more compared to a typical photovoltaic (PV) farm and parabolic trough solar thermal plant.

Rio Mesa
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Project Overview

  • A 500 megawatt solar complex using mirrors to focus the power of the sun on solar receivers atop power towers.
  • Located on 4,070 acres of mostly privately-owned land in Riverside County, approximately 13 miles southwest of Blythe, CA. The majority of the land is privately-owned by the Metropolitan Water District. 
  • The electricity generated by the two plants is enough to serve more than 200,000 homes in California during the peak hours of the day.
  • The complex will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 13 million tons over its 25 year life cycle.
  • The Rio Mesa SEGF will create more than 1,700 construction jobs at the peak of construction and approximately 100 operations and maintenance jobs.
  • Construction wages are expected to reach over $400 million, with operations and maintenance employee earnings estimated at nearly $275 million. The project will also generate approximately $200 million in local and state tax revenues.
  • The Rio Mesa SEGF is expected to be complete by 2016.