Oakland, Calif., December 16, 2010 — Solar Millennium has secured a final decision from the California Energy Commission for its 500 MW Palen Solar Power Project.
Located in Riverside County, California, the Palen Solar Power Project facility will house two power plants each generating 250 MW of nominal capacity. Together these plants will provide enough electricity to power up to 150,000 homes each year.
Uwe T. Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Solar Trust of America and Executive Chairman of Solar Millennium, LLC, said, “The CEC’s decision is one of the final significant steps to allowing the Palen project to deliver 500 MW of clean solar thermal power to Californians. Not only will this project advance the state’s renewable energy goals, it’s estimated it will create approximately 1,100 skilled jobs for the region and provide an annual economic impact of approximately $270 million during the construction period.”
“Today is a bright day for California. By approving the Palen and other projects, California continues its leadership and commitment to support, clean, renewable energy. This solar project will reinvigorate our economy and bring jobs to hard-hit communities. As we look to harness more renewable sources of energy by 2020, California leads the nation by embracing the power of the sun,” said California Energy Commission Chairman Karen Douglas.
The Palen Solar Power Project is expected to remove approximately one-half megaton of carbon dioxide emissions each year, which will provide a substantial environmental benefit. It will also employ dry-cooling technology, which will enable it to use about 90 percent less water than comparable wet-cooled facilities.
For the Palen Solar Power Project, Solar Millennium, LLC has also applied to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for a 5,200 -acre Right-of Way (ROW) located directly north of U.S. Interstate-10 and 30 miles west of the city of Blythe, California, where Solar Trust of America is constructing the 1,000 MW Blythe Solar Power Project.
Pending BLM’s decision on the ROW Grant Application, expected in Spring 2011, the Palen project will add to Solar Trust of America’s California portfolio of approved solar thermal projects totaling 1,500 MW.