Blythe delayed, shrunk to 485MW

NextEra has pushed back construction for the Blythe mega-solar project in California and shrunk its maximum size to 485MW, down from the 1GW envisaged by the original developer, Solar Millennium.

NextEra, the largest renewables generator in the US, intends to build the project in four phases, starting with a 125MW stage set to enter construction by mid-2014, and finishing construction of the final 110MW element four years later. 

Previously, Blythe was set to enter construction this year.

The changes were laid out in amended planning documents filed to the California Energy Commission.

Solar Trust of America (STA), the project’s original developer, and a subsidiary of bankrupt German concentrating solar power (CSP) specialist Solar Millennium, intended to build Blythe as eight 125MW parabolic-trough CSP plants.

It later changed its plans to include some PV, as the price of modules fell. After NextEra won the rights to Blythe last summer – following the demise of STA – the entire project was converted to PV.