Slated to be the world’s largest solar project on the cards at present, Solar Millennium has secured the final approvals required for the construction of a 1GW solar project on a site near Blythe in California.
The developer obtained the last approval needed for leasing the site from the US Bureau of Land Management, which was authorised by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Monday.
Out of the four solar thermal power plants Solar Millennium plans to build at the location, it said it will start construction of the first two plants by the end of the year, for which it has already secured financing.
This is the first approval by the US Department of the Interior for a parabolic trough power plant on US public land.
‘The Blythe solar power project is a major milestone in our nation’s renewable energy economy and shows that the US intends to compete and lead in the technologies of the future,’ said Secretary Salazar said when signing the record of decision.
For the financing structure of the first two Blythe power plants, Solar Millennium said it envisions an equity ratio of 20 to 30 per cent and a debt ratio of 70 to 80 per cent. In terms of equity, the company said it has been in negotiations with various investors and has enough resources for financing the first construction measures.
Solar Millennium CFO Oliver Blamberger said, ‘This is also good news for our advanced talks with the US Department of Energy on the loan guarantees for which we have applied. A successful conclusion of this process would secure more than two thirds of the financing volume of the first two planned power plants through the American Federal Financing Bank.’
The power purchase agreements between Solar Millennium and US utility Southern California Edison (SCE) for the two 242MW solar power plants were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in July. The company said that these agreements regulate SCE’s purchase of the electricity produced by the power plants.
Josef Eichhammer, president of Solar Trust of America and CEO of Solar Millennium, said the decision will enable the company to realise the power purchase agreements it has already signed.
He said the company expects to connect the first two plants to the grid as early as 2013 and that it is also expects to finalise the approval process for additional sites in California and Nevada totaling 500MW in the coming months.
Specialising in parabolic trough power plants, the company has an additional lineup of projects in Spain, the US, India, China, the Middle East and North Africa with an overall capacity of more than 2GW.
Solar Millennium is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Solar Trust of America, a joint venture between Solar Millennium and Ferrostaal.
Copyright © 2010 NewNet
You must be logged in to post a comment.