This is the final approval to proceed with the Ivanpah project and the company expects to commence its construction later this year.

The approximately 3,500 acre project will employ solar thermal technology and is expected to start power production at the end of 2012.

The US Department of Interior secretary Ken Salazar said that the Ivanpah project is one of several renewable energy projects in the pipeline that will help California and the US build a clean energy economy.

"With this project, we are making great strides toward meeting the President’s goals for creating new jobs for American workers, reducing carbon emissions, promoting energy independence and strengthening our national security," Salazar said.

In February 2010, BrightSource received a conditional commitment from the US Department of Energy for $1.37bn in loan guarantees to support the financing of the Ivanpah project.