Solar Millennium – Chevron Project Clears Fed Review

DFN: For a long time I’ve had an interest in the solar energy; SM reminds me of what it must have been like to be in on the beginning of Calpine. SM has 9+/- projects and no operating plants in the US; three of these projects have PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements), one of the biggest hurdles SM faces would appear to be getting permits. The permitting / building process can take 5-10 years. For example, prior to my leaving Calpine (2007), the Russell City Power Plant was just a glimmer in Pete Cartwright’s eye, and now its under construction and will sell its output to PG&E. At 1GW, the blythe project rivals in watt’s Calpine’s largest plants.

Solar Millennium, Chevron Project Clears Environmental Review

By Ehren Goossens – Aug 23, 2010 2:16 PM PT Email Share
Solar Millennium AG and Chevron Corp.’s planned 1-gigawatt Blythe solar thermal- energy complex in California passed a federal environmental review, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said.

The project, to be located on land managed by the agency about 8 miles (13 kilometers) west of Blythe in southeastern California, received its Final Environmental Impact Statement, according to an Aug. 20 notice in the Federal Register. The decision is subject to a 30-day public comment period.

Solar Millennium, based in Erlangen, Germany, will start by developing two of the four proposed plants for the complex at a cost of about $3 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates. Chevron’s San Francisco unit Chevron Energy Solutions is also involved in the project.

Mirrored parabolic troughs would focus sunlight and generate steam, allowing the four plants combined to generate as much as 968 megawatts of electricity.

State regulators approved a 20-year contract in July for Edison International’s Southern California Edison unit to buy 484 megawatts of electricity from the project’s first two plants, with deliveries starting June 30, 2014.

Solar Trust of America LLC, a venture between Solar Millennium and Essen, Germany-based industrial contractor Ferrostaal AG, will build the plants.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1.

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