World’s Largest Solar Plant Nears Approval in California Desert
U.S. officials are expected to approve by this fall what would be the world’s biggest solar power plant, a 1,000-megawatt project in the California desert that developers say could power 800,000 homes. The Blythe Solar Power Project, which would use concentrated solar thermal technology, is to be builton 7,025 acres of public land in Riverside County, about 10 miles westof the city of Blythe. Solar Millenium LLC, the Oakland-based developerof the project, said it will take about six years to complete the fourphases of the $6 billion solar installation. Once completed, it wouldnearly the double the total installed commercial-scale power capacitynationwide. Uwe T. Schmidt, executive chairman of Solar Millennium, said the Blythe facility will replace fossil fuel-powered generating plantsthat would have pumped two million tons of carbon dioxide into theatmosphere every year. The California Energy Commission recommendedapproval of the project earlier this month.
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