For the first time in mankind’s history, a solar power facility will be built at a scale and output capacity comparable to large coal fired and nuclear power plants.
Remarks by Uwe T. Schmidt, CEO and Chairman, Solar Trust of America, at press teleconference with Secretary Steven Chu and Governor Jerry Brown upon announcement of the Department of Energy’s conditional Commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee for Blythe Solar Power Project.
Secretary Chu, Governor Brown, ladies and gentlemen of the press, I am delighted to join you today. Ladies and gentlemen, without strong commitment and great resolve great things cannot be achieved in business or in government.
Today, all of us at Solar Trust of America would like to recognize President Obama and his entire administration for its call to action and for charting a new course for sustainable and renewable energy in the future.
We would like especially to acknowledge and thank Secretary Chu, Mr. Silver, and the Department of Energy Loan Programs Team for their commitment and resolve in pushing forward our Conditional Loan Guarantee.
We applaud Governor Brown for his continued support of the renewable energy industry as evidenced again last week with the signing of California’s new 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard.
And we thank all members of Congress, who despite their timely and valiant efforts to decrease the 2011 Federal Budget, had the foresight to keep the Loan Guarantee Program that is so critical to all Americans, intact.
Today marks a significant milestone for Solar Trust of America and the Blythe Solar Power Project, the world’s largest solar facility. When we created Solar Trust just over 18 months ago, my management team and I set forth an ambitious agenda to bring solar into the ranks of conventional forms of energy. We envisioned Gigawatt scale solar plants that would provide clean, reliable renewable energy to major population centers.
The Blythe Solar Power Project sets a new standard for solar energy the world over. By the time we are done, the 1,000 Megawatt Blythe plant will generate approximately as much concentrated solar power as all the CSP plants currently operating in the world today
The sheer scale of Blythe will provide a significant economic impact throughout the country. The 2.8 billion dollar first phase of the Blythe project will inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy while creating 7,500 good jobs across ten states.
The Blythe project will create 1,000 local construction jobs where unemployment has hovered at 14%. It will help put the Midwest’s steel mills back to work by using more steel than is in the Golden Gate Bridge. And it will create a massive supply chain as steel, equipment and parts flow from the Midwest to the Southwest for final assembly and installation.
This supply chain will remain active for the next decade to service all of our projects. Blythe is just the beginning for Solar Trust of America. Our plan is to revolutionize the way we generate energy here in the United States. We are already working on an additional 1,000 Megawatt of renewable energy projects throughout the American southwest, with more to come.
We pride ourselves on employing old economy tried and tested principles in the new economy of clean energy. We use proven technology that reduces risk, and we closely manage the entire supply chain to help ensure our projects stay on time and on budget.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits the Blythe Solar Power facility will achieve is that for the first time in mankind’s history, a solar power facility will be built at a scale and output capacity comparable to large coal fired and nuclear power plants.
With today’s milestone achieved, thanks to the DOE, the U.S. will have seriously entered our generation’s version of the “space race” of the 60’s, namely the solar race of the 21st Century. Not only as a contender, but as a global leader.