08 July 2011
Solar Trust of America, an integrated solar energy solutions company and developer of the Blythe Solar Power Project, the largest solar power facility in the world, was recognized for its environmental stewardship in developing the Blythe facility at awards ceremonies held at the recently concluded Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Today annual conference in Las Vegas.
The prestigious award is bestowed on the US solar project developer that designs and implements the most effective sustained program for conservation and preservation of the local environment including land, water and wildlife.
As part of the environmental due diligence for the Blythe project, Solar Trust and its US development subsidiary, STA Development, LLC (formerly Solar Millenium), worked with state and federal authorities to mitigate impacts on certain wildlife species on the project site by purchasing additional habitat for affected species. In addition, to preserve water resources the company is incorporating "dry-cooling" technology for the facility that uses 90% less water than conventional water-cooled designs.
On 17 June, Solar Trust held groundbreaking ceremonies at the Blythe site that included US Department of Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, California Governor Jerry Brown and a number of local, state and federal agency representatives.
Upon completion, the multi-billion dollar Blythe Solar Power Project will deliver 1,000 megawatts of nominal generating capacity, or enough electricity to power 300,000 home annually, making it the first solar facility to compare in scale to the largest coal and nuclear power plants. The project will create more than 1,000 local jobs during the construction period and approximately 200 maintenance and operations jobs once the facility is operational. The project will also generate hundreds of millions of dollars throughout the US supply chain during the construction phase.
Solar Trust of America is an integrated solar industrial solutions company with several utility-scale solar energy projects under development throughout the American Southwest. In April 2011, the Department of Energy announced conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee for the construction of the first phase of the 1,000MW Blythe Solar Power Project, the largest solar project in the world. The company has 1,000 MW of additional solar power projects in advanced stages of development in California and Nevada. As a fully integrated company, Solar Trust of America works across the entire solar value chain, including project design, financing, procurement, construction, operation, and management. Solar Trust of America and its subsidiaries currently employ over 75 professionals.