Rice Solar Energy Project Site.

Rice Solar Energy Project - Proposed route for new 10 mile long transmission line route across BLM-managed lands to interconnect with Western Area Power.

Quick Facts:

15 miles west of Vidal Junction
Concentrating Solar Thermal with Storage
150 MW
Water Use:
Up to 180 Acre-feet/year
~1,500 acres of private land
10 miles (BLM land)

The Rice Solar Energy Project is a solar power project proposed to be located in a remote region of eastern Riverside County, CA. The project will utilize SolarReserve’s innovative concentrating solar power technology with storage, and have the capability to produce a nominal 150 megawatts (MW) of energy.

Key Project Characteristics:

  • 150 MW of clean, renewable and sustainable energy
  • Highly predictable and dependable fuel supply
  • Will be a dry-cooled facility, which greatly minimizes water usage
  • Executed Power Purchase Agreement with PG&E
  • Applicant of the Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Guarantee program
  • Possible American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding (ARRA)

Project Economic Benefits:

  • Estimated $750-850 million capital cost investment in California
  • Hundreds of construction jobs over 30-month construction period and around 50 jobs during operation
  • Between $5-7 million annual operating budget, much of which will be spent in the region

Key Project Benefits:

The Rice Solar Energy Project will enhance the local economy by creating new ‘green’ jobs, generating additional tax revenue, and boosting revenue for local businesses.

  • Help meet growing demand for clean, renewable energy sources.
  • Incorporate energy storage which provides operating stability for the electricity grid and a cost-effective way to meet California’s peak electricity demand profile.
  • Boost the local economy by creating up to 450 construction jobs and up to 50 permanent operating jobs, and also significant property tax revenues that will benefit the local community and region.

  • Project Location:

    • Private land holding of 3,300 acres; approximately 1,500 acres will be occupied by the solar facility
    • Previously disturbed site – former Rice Army Airfield and private airfield, which has been abandoned since 1958
    • Remote location
    • 10-mile new transmission line will interconnect with Western’s existing transmission system
    • Not located in any Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) or critical habitat areas for listed species
    • Central receiver tower is located one mile from State Route 62