1000 MW and 1100 jobs with Blythe solar project

The project is planned on a site that lies eight miles or approximately 12.87 kilometers west of the town of Blythe in the Mojave desert. The power complex will contain four individual units, utilising parabolic mirrors to generate energy. The construction is slated to bring nearly 1,100 jobs. The project will be jointly developed by Germany-based Solar Millenium and Southern California Edison and is estimated to be complete in the next five to six years. Solar Millenium is seeking a US$1.9 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. Although the close of financing has been delayed, Solar Millennium has said it will proceed. Construction will commence in December this year.

The Blythe facility is possibly the largest solar power operation planned to date and will double the U.S. installed commercial solar capacity according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). “The Blythe Solar Power Project is a major milestone in our nation’s renewable energy economy and shows that the United States intends to compete and lead in the technologies of the future,” interior secretary Ken Salazar said in signing the Record of Decision.

Blythe lies in Riverside County, California in the Palo Verde Valley of the Lower Colorado River. It has a population of a little over 12,000 and depends mostly on tourism for income.