Recent Visitors to Ivanpah See Impressive Construction Progress
Last week, 17 members of the media experienced a rare and in-depth tour of the Ivanpah Solar project. The Ivanpah project partners – BrightSource, NRG and Google – and construction partner Bechtel – were pleased to be able to show off the world’s largest solar thermal energy project at its halfway point in construction. The reporters represented a variety of influential media outlets, including cleantech news websites, local daily newspapers, Washington D.C.-based policy news websites and prominent international newspapers and broadcast news outlets.
Outfitted in steel toed boots and hard hats in the 108 degree heat, the group traveled by caravan through the 3,500 acre site visiting the Unit 1 power block area and heliostat assembly facilities. Members of the media, who were brave enough to travel up the Unit 1 tower over 450 feet in the air, got breathtaking views of the complex in its entirety. Katie Fehrenbacher of GigaOm compiled amazing photos from atop the tower and a short video about the project, which can be seen here.
Executives from NRG, BrightSource and Bechtel answered reporters’ questions and shared their excitement about this unique project. Jim Ivany, President of Bechtel’s renewable power business line, recounted a time when an Ivanpah construction worker conveyed just how significant the project was in his own life by saying, “This project is my Hoover Dam.’”
The Bechtel construction team was busy at work during the mid-day tour, but a few workers took the opportunity to explain and showcase aspects of the project for the reporters’ flashing cameras and rolling videos. And as if the media attention wasn’t exciting enough, the very next day, Ivanpah received another very special visitor, President Bill Clinton! Shaking hands with construction workers and admiring their tattoos, Clinton later said, “Those construction workers are the people who are going to make the difference in moving the clean energy industry forward.”