NRG Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, has signed a letter of intent to partner with BrightSource Energy to construct, finance, own and operate the 392MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in southeastern California’s Mojave Desert.

NRG Solar plans to invest up to $300m over the next three years in Ivanpah, which is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 140,000 US homes and avoid nearly 400,000 tons of carbon emissions annually.

Electricity from Ivanpah project, which has received a $1.375bn conditional commitment from the US Department of Energy for a loan guarantee, will be sold under multiple power purchase agreements, each of 20-25 years duration to Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric.

Bechtel will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for Ivanpah, the construction on which has already begun and all the three phases of the project are expected to be fully operational by mid-2013, supporting California’s goal of 33% renewable power generation by 2020.

BrightSource Energy president and CEO John Woolard said that NRG’s experience operating and owning power plants, coupled with its unmatched understanding of the solar power markets makes it an ideal partner for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.

“At Ivanpah, we’re showing that solar thermal power plants built in an environmentally responsible manner will serve as a critical resource in meeting the world’s growing demand for low-cost and reliable solar power,” Woolard said.