Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Joins as Guest of Honor.

Solar Trust of America (STA) will break ground on its signature energy project, the Blythe Solar Power Project, the largest solar power facility in the world, on June 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM in Blythe, CA near Palm Springs.

Upon completion, the facility will deliver 1,000 Megawatts (MW) of generating capacity, or enough electricity to power more than 300,000 homes each year, making it the first solar facility to compare in scale to the largest coal and nuclear power plants.

The Blythe Project received a conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy in April. STA worked closely with the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to secure regulatory approval and permits to begin the initial phases of construction on the project last fall.

WHO:     Ken Salazar, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior
Joseph DeConinck, Mayor of Blythe
Uwe T. Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Solar Trust of America
Dr. Christoph Wolff, CEO, Solar Millennium AG
WHAT: Groundbreaking Ceremony for the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant
WHEN: 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 17, 2011
WHERE: Palo Verde Community College Auditorium
One College Drive
Blythe, Calif.

Complimentary transportation will be provided from the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells departing at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, June 17th. Members of the media are invited to join us following the formal program at 11:00 a.m. for a community luncheon and afternoon entertainment program.

Live video of the groundbreaking will be shown at the event site to accommodate media who cannot travel to the event site. B-Roll footage and sound bites of the day’s proceedings will also be available after the event. Strong visuals/video of solar thermal technology available, as well. 

Solar thermal power plants generate electricity by converting solar radiation into heat energy. In a parabolic trough power plant, trough-shaped mirrors concentrate the solar radiation onto a pipe in the focal line of the collector. Its absorption heats a fluid medium in the pipe, and generates steam in the power block through a heat exchanger. As in conventional power plants, the steam powers a turbine to generate electricity. By integrating thermal storage, electricity can be supplied on demand, even after sunset. 

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 United States. The company’s Project Development, Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC), 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.