German Company to Build World’s Largest Solar Power Plant in California

In Germany solar power has been firmly established in the market for many years. This experience is being imported to the US by the German company Solar Millennium, LLC. In cooperation with the oil giant Chevron, the first steps towards renewable solar energy in California have been taken, and the Obama administration has approved a thousand-megawatt solar project on federal land in Southern California, the largest solar project ever planned on U.S. public lands and the largest in the world.

The cost of the Blythe Solar Power Project, to be built in the Mojave Desert near Blythe, is six billion dollars. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced it as the start of a boom in solar power on federal lands. The Blythe project is slated for more than 7,000 acres of public land near the Arizona border, some 225 miles east of Los Angeles.

The project is the sixth solar power development approved by the Interior Department in November, all in California and Nevada. Approval of a seventh project, also in California, is expected in the next few weeks. All could start transmitting electricity by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

At full capacity, the seven projects would generate more than 3,000 megawatts of power and provide electricity for up to 2 million homes. The projects are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs during construction and several hundred permanent jobs.

– (gw/ah)