Applaud Giant Solar Plant Project

Target: David Ramm, Executive Chairman of BrightSource Energy, Inc.

Goal: Applaud company’s giant solar plant project

Construction on the largest solar plant of its type has recently concluded in California’s Mojave Desert. The plant, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, is the result of a partnership between Google, NRG Energy, and BrightSource Energy (the company behind the technology the plant uses). However, it was no easy feat to complete the project.

The plant uses 200,000 mirrors to direct sunlight back to a 400-foot concrete solar tower. The heat generated warms a boiler at the top of the tower, causing the water to turn into steam. This steam then powers a turbine that generates electricity.

The solar plant, while promising to revolutionize the way energy can be generated, was met with opposition from a number of parties. It took years to receive the required permits from local, state, and federal agencies. Another roadblock to beginning the project were the tortoises that called the site their home. Almost 200 tortoises had to be relocated, upsetting many environmental and animal conservation groups, as well as costing the companies approximately 55,000 dollars per animal.

Despite these setbacks, the project has been completed. Even the opposing environmental and animal conservation groups are pleased, having worked together with the Ivanpah Project to designate nature preserves within the desert.

This project will power 140,000 homes, helping to replace fossil fuels and becoming a major clean energy source for the area. In addition, the complicated process the project had to go through will help other states and companies understand what research and planning must be done in order to create more of these clean energy solar plants. Creating these plants is essential to increasing the use of cleaner fuel sources. Furthermore, according to Natural Resources Defense Council member Carl Zichella, cleaner energy sources are necessary to preserving the climates where animals live, much like the desert habitat of the tortoises that were relocated.


Dear David Ramm,

The BrightSource Energy technology used in the Ivanpah Project is unlike anything many people have seen before. A solar plant of this size, that can power 140,000 homes, will serve as a clean energy alternative to fossil fuels. Creating this plant will help pave the way for similar plants to be built, and will help states achieve clean energy goals.

Furthermore, the obstacles that stood in the project’s way served as a learning experience for those involved in the project as well as other companies who plan to build similar plants in the future. The experience of the Ivanpah Project will allow future projects to encounter fewer setbacks. We would like to applaud BrightEnergy on the creation of the plant technology, and the company and its partners on their commitment to using cleaner energy sources.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Michael L. Baird via

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