Concentrating Solar Power Project to Switch to Photovoltaic

This doesn’t mean Solar Millennium is moving away fromConcentrated Solar Power. The company indicated that it will focus on solar thermal and hybrid solar power plants in Europe, Asia, North Africa and Latin America. When demand for storable concentrated solar energy begins to grow in the U.S., it will partner to develop other concentrated solar thermal projects.

This isn’t the first U.S. project to change from solar thermal to PV in the past year. Tessera Solar’s Calico Solar project, which is now owned by K Road Power, was supposed to use concentrating solar thermal technology. The Imperial Valley Solar Project (another Tessera developed) was switched to PV after it was sold to AES Solar. And NRG Energy ditched a plan to build a 92-megawatt CSP plant and sell the electricity to Pacific Gas and Electric.

Solar Millennium sold it’s 2.25 GW solar thermal project portfolio in the Southwest US to solarhybrid and said it would switch the projects from concentrated solar power (CSP) technology to solar energy photovoltaic. solarhybrid and Solar Millennium, a specialist in the construction of concentrated solar thermal power plants, have signed conditional contractual agreements. Conditional contracts signed on the potential purchase of project companies with a pipeline of 2.25 GWp capacity (2,250 MWp) by solarhybrid AG from Solar Millennium AG.

Solar Millennium AG would secure pay back of investments into project development and participates in profits from project realization. solarhybrid AG achieves immediate access to US solar energy market and potential turnover of more than USD 5 billion from 2013 to 2017.

solarhybrid AG in Brilon, a specialist in the construction of photovoltaic (PV) solar power plants and Solar Millennium AG in Erlangen, a specialist in the construction of concentrated solar thermal power plants have signed conditional contractual agreements which are subject to finalization of advanced due diligence.

Subsequent to the completion of the transaction which is planned for the end of October, solarhybrid will own a pipeline for solar power projects with a total capacity of up to 2.25 GWp. solarhybrid AG thus would emerge as one of the largest PV project developers in the US. solarhybrid also plans to supply engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to these PV projects.

The companies have agreed to refrain from disclosing details of the transaction. However the signed agreements stipulate payments to Solar Millennium which will amount to its past investments into the projects and an additional fee upon successful realization of the projects.

A first payment to Solar Millennium was made on October 4, 2010. solarhybrid has financed this payment from its cash flows, which was possible due to its successful business in the third quarter. Sales, turnover, and profits exceeded the company’s expectations. solarhybrid confirms its forecast to be at least EUR 15 million profit and more than EUR 400 million turnover for 2011 fiscal year.

solarhybrid AG expects to execute the transaction through its wholly owned US subsidiary solarhybrid USA Inc. solarhybrid USA Inc. would continue project development, financing and EPC activities for the projects. Available resources from Solar Millennium Group in the US will be used as much as possible.

solarhybrid anticipates that the start of construction of the first project could be as early as 2013. The first project will probably be the 1,000MW Blythe Solar Power Project in California.

Tom Schröder, CEO of solarhybrid AG says: ‘With this exciting transaction we would gain unparalled access to the US market and successfully achieve a significant milestone in the internationalization of our business. We are confident in our ability to finalise the contracts by October 31st.’

By José Santamarta,