The Abengoa Mojave Solar project near Hinkley passed a final hurdle Thursday as the California Public Utilities Commission approved the project's power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric.

The 250-megawatt project near Harper Dry Lake is under full construction after receiving a conditional $1.2 billion federal loan from the Department of Energy in June, said Scott Frier, Abengoa Solar's Chief Operating Officer, on Thursday.

The last condition needed for the project to close financing on the loan was the CPUC's approval of the project's power purchase agreement with PG&E, said Frier.

Frier said that now that the last condition of the loan has been met, construction will begin in earnest. The project is already being graded and workers are beginning to put down bases for the pylons that will hold the solar collectors.

The project which will power up to 80,000 homes once it is completed is sited on 1,765 acres of private land near Harper Dry Lake. The project will use parabolic solar trough technology, which tracks the sun and allows for power storage.

The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2014.

Public meetings planned for substation, transmission lines

Southern California Edison will be hosting public meetings about proposed power substations and transmission lines in the High Desert this week.

Edison officials are seeking to construct two separate transmission projects in the High Desert.

The Lugo-Pisgah project would involve the construction of a new substation near the current Pisgah substation about 20 miles from Kramer Junction and about 60 to 70 miles of a new high-voltage transmission line between the new substation and the Lugo substation in Hesperia. The project would have enough capacity to interconnect renewable energy projects in the Mojave Desert area, according to Edison.

The south of Kramer project would involve the construction of two new substations in Lucerne Valley and Apple Valley, as well as 55 to 70 miles of new transmission lines between Daggett, Lucerne Valley and Hesperia. The project would support large-scale renewable energy development, system reliability and increased electrical demand, according to Edison.

At the meeting, the public will be able to learn about both of the proposed projects, view maps of potential transmission line routes or corridors and provide feedback.

SCE transmission project meetings
All meetings held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday, Lucerne Valley Community Center, 33187 Old Woman Springs Rd., Lucerne Valley
Wednesday, Courtyard Marriott Hesperia, 9619 Mariposa Rd., Hesperia
Thursday, Daggett Community Center, 35277 Afton St., Daggett