An enormous new renewable energy project near Blythe, California, has been approved by California regulators after the developers switched from concentrated solar power (CSP) to photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. It’s unclear what the next steps are for NextEra Energy, the company that will build the 485-megawatt (MW) project.
Reuters reports that the project was originally slated to be over 1,000 MW and use parabolic troughs to collect sunlight for turbine steam generation. However, NextEra downsized the project by about half and switched to PV power instead.
The Blythe installation is expected to create 500 jobs during construction and will cost $1.13 billion. Once it is up and running, it will need around 15 people to operate. It will occupy over 4,000 acres of land owned by the federal government’s Bureau of Land Management.
“The project will spur California’s transition to renewable energy and help advance its aggressive climate change goals,” California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas, the presiding member of the committee reviewing the Blythe project, said in a statement.
It’s expected to take Next Era four years to construct the plant, which will require four different phases, each one adding about 110 MW of generating capacity at a time.
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