Blythe Mesa Solar Power Project

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Blythe Mesa Solar Power Project
Blythe Mesa Solar Power Project is located in California
Blythe Mesa Solar Power Project
Location of Blythe Mesa Solar Power Project
Country United States
Location Riverside County, California
Coordinates 33°39′N 114°43′W / 33.65°N 114.72°W / 33.65; -114.72Coordinates: 33°39′N 114°43′W / 33.65°N 114.72°W / 33.65; -114.72
Status planned
Solar field
Type Flat-panel PV
Site area 4,138 acres (1,675 ha)[1]
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 485 MW

The Blythe Mesa Solar Power Project is a planned 485 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station in Riverside County, California. The project was originally planned to be 1000 MW CSP using parabolic troughs, but the design has been changed to photovoltaics,[2][3] and the size reduced to 485 MW. Land clearing for the project began in 2015.[4]

The project was originally developed by Solar Trust of America. Also Chevron Energy Solutions planned to participate in the project.[5][6][7] 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.[8]

The project is currently proposed by Renewable Resources Group (RRG) of Los Angeles.[9]


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.[10][11]

The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the project on September 15, 2010.[12][13][14] The Bureau of Land Management cleared the project to go ahead on October 25, 2010.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17][18] Solarhybrid is in talks with First Solar for supply of photovoltaic modules.[19]

In 2012, Solar Millennium tried to sell its stake in Solar Trust to other German solar energy developer, Solarhybrid;[20] however, this deal collapsed after all three companies filed for bankruptcy protection.[21] NextEra Energy Inc. was the top bidder for the project, according to an attorney representing creditors, acquiring the project in June 2012.[22]

In 2013, NextEra Energy submitted a proposal to reduce the project size to three 125 MW sections, and one 110 MW section, for a total of 485 MW.[23] Approval was granted in January 2014.[24]

In 2015, the Interior Department announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had approved the 485 MW Blythe Mesa Solar Power Project. Approval was granted on August 24, 2015.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blythe Mesa Solar Power Project
  2. ^ World's Largest Solar Power Plant May Use First Solar &/Or Yingli Solar Modules... Or Not
  3. ^ California Energy Commission Blythe Solar Power Project - Status
  4. ^ Chris Clarke, Vegetation Clearing Starts at Desert Solar Project, KCET January 23, 2015
  5. ^ Kane, Will (2010-10-26). "Turtles last hurdle for huge Blythe Solar project". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  6. ^ "Groundbreaking for Blythe Solar Power Project". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. June 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  7. ^ Top 6 Utility-scale Fast-tracked Solar Projects Renewable Energy World, September 1, 2010.
  8. ^ Gov. Brown signs law requiring 33% of energy be renewable by 2020
  9. ^ Company Overview of Renewable Resources Group Holding Company, Inc
  10. ^ Streater, Scott (August 26, 2010). "1,000-Megawatt Plant in Calif. Marks New Milestone in Solar Expansion". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ Bureau of Land Management. Map of Solar Energy Applications: Palm Springs – South Coast Field Office, Bureau of Land Management
  12. ^ McBride, Sarah (2010-09-15). "World's largest solar plant wins key approval". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  13. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (2010-09-15). "1,000-megawatt Blythe solar power cleared by state regulators". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  14. ^ Louey, Sandy (2010-09-15). "Energy Commission Licenses 1,000 MW Solar Power Plant". California Energy Commission. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  15. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (October 25, 2010). "Blythe solar project gets BLM approval in Riverside County". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  16. ^ Baker, David R. (April 19, 2011). "Solar Trust of Oakland wins federal loan support". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  17. ^ Kanellos, Michael (August 18, 2011). "Dark Day for Solar Thermal: Solar Trust Switches 500MW Power Plant to PV". Greentech Media. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  18. ^ Woody, Todd (August 18, 2011). "Solar Developer Says No Thanks to $2.1 Billion Federal Loan Guarantee". Forbes. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  19. ^ "First Solar could supply two major U.S. projects". Reuters. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  20. ^ Kaufmann, K. (2012-02-07). "Solar Millennium sells Blythe, Palen projects to solarhybrid". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  21. ^ Stempel, Jonathan; Bryan, Victoria (2012-04-02). "Solar Trust of America files bankruptcy". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  22. ^ "NextEra Wins Auction for World’s Biggest Solar Project". 2012-06-22. Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2012-06-24. 
  23. ^ NextEra Chops Blythe Solar Project Proposal Amid Switch to Solar PV
  24. ^ California approves $1.13 bln NextEra Blythe solar power plant, Reuters, Jan 15, 2014
  25. ^ Interior Department Approves 485-Megawatt Blythe Mesa Solar Project in California, August 24, 2015

External links[edit]