NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com reports California Energy Commission approves construction of world’s largest solar project at Blythe.
The California Energy Commission has approved the construction and operation of the project’s four solar-thermal power plants, with the full conclusion of the approval process expected to be reached in October when the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) makes its final decision.
California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, ‘I applaud the California Energy Commission’s decision to approve the construction of the Blythe Solar Power Project – the world’s largest.’
The Blythe project’s developers said the 1,000MW solar project has a generating capacity equal to the output of a nuclear power plant or a modern coal fired power plant.
Solar Millennium intends to begin the initial construction on two of the four plants that will make up the project, by the end of the year. The four power plants are slated to together supply an annual electricity volume of approximately 2,200GWh.
Thomas Mayer, spokesperson for Solar Millennium, said, ‘Once the first two plants are connected to the grid in 2013 and 2014, we will have implemented the Desertec idea in California: With solar power plants in the California desert, we will be able to supply Los Angeles and other metropolitan cities on the American west coast with environmentally friendly electricity.’
The financing for the first two solar power plants is due to come to close imminently, which will include loan guarantees and grants by the US government. ‘The investment volumes of more than $1bn per plant make this one of the largest infrastructure projects in the US at the moment,’ said Mayer. Power purchase agreements between Solar Millennium and US energy provider Southern California Edison for the first two 242MW solar plants were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in July.
Solar Millennium is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Solar Trust of America, the US-American joint venture of Solar Millennium Group and Ferrostaal.