Blythe Solar Power Project
|Blythe Solar Power Project|
|Location||Riverside County, California|
|Construction began||2014 (expected)|
|Site area||4,138 acres (1,675 ha)|
The Blythe Solar Power Project is a planned solar power station in Riverside County, California. The project was being developed by Solar Trust of America. Also Chevron Energy Solutions planned to participate in the project. Solar Trust was formed as a majority-owned (70%) subsidiary of Solar Millennium. California will need from 15,000 to 20,000 MW of renewable energy to meet the 33% renewable electricity generation requirement by 2020. The project was originally planned to be 1000 MW CSP using parabolic troughs, but the design has been changed to photovoltaics, and the size reduced to 485 MW. Construction on the redesigned project is expect to begin in 2014.
Blythe Solar was to be a $6 billion parabolic trough solar thermal plant, comprising four 242 MW units, located on 7,025 acres (2,843 ha) of Bureau of Land Management land, about 8 miles (13 km) west of the city of Blythe.
In April 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy offered a $2.1 billion conditional loan guarantee to Solar Trust, to reduce the interest on the $2.8 billion cost of building the first half of the project. The offer was rejected by Solar Trust.
In August 2011, Solar Trust of America announced that the first half of the project would use photovoltaic panels instead of solar thermal power. Solarhybrid is in talks with First Solar for supply of photovoltaic modules.
In 2012, Solar Millennium tried to sell its stake in Solar Trust to other German solar energy developer, Solarhybrid; however, this deal collapsed after all three companies filed for bankruptcy protection. NextEra Energy Inc. was the top bidder for the project, according to an attorney representing creditors, acquiring the project in June 2012.
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