The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

California Gives Go-Ahead to Blythe Solar Plan

The California Energy Commission (CEC), following the recommendation of its own staff, has approved the proposed shift of NextEra's Blythe Solar Power Project from concentrated solar power (CSP) to solar photovoltaic (CPV).

Blythe originally was proposed in 2010 as a 1-GW CSP project (parabolic trough), backed by a $2.1 billion DoE loan guarantee. Then-project owner Solar Millennium decided to switch to PV technology in 2011, part of an industry-wide shift away from utility-scale CSP as PV prices plummeted and CSP's economics became less attractive. Last spring Blythe's new owner NextEra submitted a revised plan that would shrink Blythe by more than half to 485 MW of solar PV.

In mid-December the CEC internally recommended that the Blythe project be approved as a 485-MW solar PV, believing that potential "cumulatively significant" environmental impacts would be outweighed by its benefits, including its contribution to the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) and economic and jobs benefits.

And so yesterday the CEC voted unanimously 5-0 to approve the Blythe project. Construction is projected to take about four years and cost $1.13 billion.

Paired with the CEC's staff recommendation in December about Blythe was with a less-favorable opinion of another proposed utility-scale solar project, the 500-MW Palen Solar Electric Generating System with two solar thermal power towers, also originally designed by Solar Millennium and now owned by BrightSource and Abengoa, which would take nearly three years to build at a cost of roughly $2 billion. CEC staff's concerns include "significant environmental impacts" even with recommended mitigation measures, from "solar flux" (essentially cooking birds in mid-flight as they pass through the solar-reflecting field) to whether the mirrors might appear as a body of water and attract overhead birds down into collisions.

The CEC originally was supposed to rule issue a final vote on Palen earlier this month, but BrightSource and Abengoa, which already revised and scaled back the Palen plan to address various concerns from reducing land and water usage to eliminating an extra transmission line, asked for a delay until later this spring to conduct further assessments, so the CEC's scheduled Jan. 7 meeting became a discussion of further input from the CEC, stakeholders, and other interested parties.

Lead image: Thumbs up, via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

States Already Seek To Delay Clean Power Plan

Andrew Harris, Bloomberg Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia asked a federal court to stall Obama administration rules intended to c...

Stolen Solar Panels and Sabotage A Challenge for Powering India With Renewable Energy

Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg Disappointment spread across Tarun Singh’s face when he saw that parts of his solar power microgrid in eastern India’...

Suntech Parent Company Buys Majority Share of US-based Suniva

Ehren Goossens Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd., the Hong Kong-based solar company controlled by billionaire Zheng Jianming,...

Sunrise in Pakistan as the Country Delves into Solar PV

Robert Harker Pakistan has joined the list of countries that are exploring solar power as a means to bridge critical energy generat...

PRESS RELEASES

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

OFS Announces Commercial Availability of InvisiLight® MDU Optical Solution for Multiple Dwelling Units

OFS, a leading-edge designer, manufacturer and supplier of innovative fiber optic netwo...

New local energy partnership brings innovative solar tracker to Washington State

A new partnership will bring the innovative AllEarth Solar Tracker solar electric syste...

30 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 30 days to go to t...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

Vacancy? No Problem!

Have you ever tried to sell an efficiency product or service to a prospect that owns or manages a building with high ...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Renewable Energy World's network editors help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S. and the UK, the team is comprised of editors from Pennwell Corporation's myriad of publications that ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

Intersolar India 2015

Exhibition and Conference: November 18-20, 2015 Intersolar India 2015 I...

COMPANY BLOGS

The Proof Is Not Always In The Pudding

One of the best ways to turn a skeptical prospect into a buyer is to giv...

Pushing Beyond The Cushion

Efficiency projects are all too often viewed as “optional” o...

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS