Solar Millennium, Chevron win OK for 1,000 MW solar thermal plant

Oakland, Calif., September 15, 2010 – Solar Millennium, LLC, won unanimous approval from the California Energy Commission to build and operate its Blythe Solar Power Project, a concentrating solar power facility.

Combined, the four 250 MW plants will deliver 1,000 MW of nominal generating capacity, or enough electricity to power more than 300,000 homes annually.

Construction of the first two Blythe solar power plants is expected to begin by the end of the year. The plant complex could start generating power in 2013.

Having received formal approval from the California Energy Commission, the project must now secure a Record of Decision approving the project’s Right of Way Grant from the Federal Bureau of Land Management, which is expected this fall.

The company is also actively pursuing completion of financing with the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program for the first phase of the project, representing about 500 MW of generating capacity.

Converting the high-intensity solar radiation of the California desert into electricity will bring a host of environmental benefits to the state. Once constructed, the solar project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about two million tons per year, or the equivalent of removing more than 300,000 cars from the road.

Local officials were among the coalition supporting the project throughout its approval process because of the significant environmental and economic benefits. California State Assembly member V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella) said, “Not only will the project harvest the sun to generate clean energy in our community but it will also provide a powerful kick-start to the local economy.”

Solar Trust of America, LLC is an integrated industrial solar solutions company strategically positioned to support the critical need for renewable energy generation in the U.S.

The company’s project development, engineering, procurement and construction, financial resources and operational management expertise ensures the delivery of a fully integrated concentrated solar power solution using commercially viable and proven parabolic trough solar thermal energy technology.

Together with its wholly owned U.S. development subsidiary, Oakland, California-based Solar Millennium, LLC, and global business partners Solar Millennium AG and Ferrostaal AG, Solar Trust of America is actively pursuing the construction and development of multiple solar thermal power plants across the southwestern U.S.

The company currently has nine solar thermal energy power plants in advanced stages of development near Ridgecrest, Blythe and Desert Center, California, as well as in the Amargosa Valley near Las Vegas.

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