U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced an offer of conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee to support Units 1 and 2 of the Blythe Solar Power Project, sponsored by Solar Trust of America, LLC. This California solar thermal power plant will be built adjacent to the City of Blythe in Riverside County, California and is expected to create over 1,000 construction jobs and approximately 80 operations jobs.
"Loan guarantees play an important role in facilitating the development and deployment of innovative technologies at massive scope and scale," says Secretary Chu. "Continued investments like this project make solar power more efficient and cost competitive while creating thousands of jobs and strengthening the economy."
Units 1 and 2 of the Blythe project represent the first phase of a larger project that, when completed, will generate 1,000 MW of solar power using parabolic trough technology. Units 1 and 2 will include HelioTroughT collectors, which feature a larger yet simplified design, making them less expensive to build and install, and more efficient than earlier trough technology.
The project will be the first concentrating solar power (CSP) parabolic trough plant to use an air-cooled condenser unit, which will decrease water use by nearly 90 percent compared with a water-cooled CSP facility.
The project will sell all of its electricity output to Southern California Edison and will deliver power into the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) power grid.
"This clean energy project will create more than 1,000 jobs and strengthen the economy of Riverside County. Investments like this one are critical to reducing America's dangerous dependence on foreign oil, protecting our children from pollution and creating clean energy jobs here in California," says Senator Barbara Boxer.