Solar Millennium awaiting DOE outcome for Blythe solar projects loan guarantees


The company has already received the draft of a conditional term sheet from DOE in the scope of the approval process for the federal loan Guarantee program. However, it says that regardless of the outcome, it will begin construction this December.

The terms and conditions in the draft term sheet are said to provide a framework for the commencement of discussions on terms between the two parties. In these discussions, the major terms of a proposed loan guarantee are set forth. “Receipt of the term sheet is thus a significant prerequisite for successfully concluding the financing of the planned power plants Blythe 1 and 2,” said Solar Millennuim.

Oliver Blamberger, CFO of Solar Millennium AG, explains the further business plans: “We assume we’ll be able to wrap up negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy in the new year. Because the Blythe projects represent a significant portion of our sales and profit planning, the Executive Board has decided not to give an early forecast for the current fiscal year until further notice.”

Uwe T. Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Solar Trust of America, added: “We‘re extremely pleased with the proactive approach by the U.S. Department of Energy with regard to our Blythe projects, and we are excited to see the progress made in securing the loan guarantees.

“We are confident that the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as the other federal authorities involved in the loan guarantee program, will now act quickly to move the approved power plant projects forward. The solar power plants under development and construction are of central importance not only for reaching California’s climate goals, but also for improving the region’s economic future.”

Solar Millennium is planning to build and operate up to four parabolic trough power plants through Solar Trust of America, LLC, with a capacity of 250 megawatts (MW) each. All four solar power plants together will make up what it says is the world’s largest solar power facility to date.

The company has already received the respective construction permits by the California regulatory authorities and the U.S. government in September and October. It says it plans to finance at least two-thirds of the construction volume of its two power plants with low-rate loans by the U.S. Federal Finance Bank. In order to secure this share of debt capital, the Company has applied for the respective loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy.