With a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW), Blythe will be the largest solar power facility in the world and will be providing energy on s scale comparable to commercial nuclear and fossil-fueled power plants.
This week Solar TrAmerica, the American business unit within the Solar Millennium Group, received the CSP Today award for “Most Effective Environmental Stewardship of the Year” for the Blythe project at the annual conference in Las Vegas.
With this, the company established itself against a number of competitors. The finalists in each category were determined in advance through online voting and the winners were ultimately chosen by a panel of experts, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy.
With a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW), Blythe will be the largest solar power facility in the world and will be providing energy on s scale comparable to commercial nuclear and fossil-fueled power plants. The Facility will consist of four 250 MW plants. Once completed, it will save some two million tons of carbon dioxide per year and supply solar power to more than 300,000 households on an annual basis.
“This award is a valuable confirmation of our work and evidence that economic and ecological interests do not have to conflict with one another,” Dr. Christoph Wolff, CEO of Solar Millennium AG, explained.
From the start – the on-site inspections began back in 2006 – particular focus was placed on the environmental compatibility of the project in order to keep the impact on the flora and fauna as minimal as possible (pursuant to compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA)).
Nationally-recognized environmental organizations were consulted by the Solar Millennium Group as part of the CEQA and NEPA processes, and many of their recommendations were added to the final environmental plan for the project. One example is the implementation of dry cooling technology. With this, the facility will use 90 percent less water than a conventional solar plant of this size cooled with water.
The Solar Millennium Group was nominated in three of eight categories. In addition to the winning category, the Company was also among the finalists in the areas of “Increased Dispatchability Solution of the Year” and “CSP Engineering Firm of the Year.”
Solar Millennium AG, Erlangen, (ISIN DE0007218406) is an international company in the renewable energy sector, with its main focus on solar-thermal power plants. Together with its subsidiaries and associates, the Company specializes in parabolic trough power plants and has managed to take a globally leading position in this field. Solar Millennium strives to further extend its expertise in the area of solar-thermal power plants with the aim of achieving and securing sustainable technology leadership. As such, the Company covers all important business sectors along the value chain for solar-thermal power plants: from project development and financing to the technology and the turnkey construction and operation of power plants. In Spain, Solar Millennium developed Europe’s first parabolic trough power plants and realized these together with partners. Additional projects are planned around the world with an overall capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts: here the current regional focus is on Spain, the US, the Middle East and North Africa.
Solar-thermal power plants generate electricity by converting solar radiation into heat energy. In a parabolic trough power plant, trough-shaped mirrors concentrate the incidental radiation onto a pipe in the focal line of the collector. Its absorption heats a fluid heat medium in the pipe, generating steam in the power block through a heat exchanger. As in conventional power plants, the steam powers a turbine to generate electricity.