Solar Millennium cashes out of US concentrating solar thermal power investments

Concentrating Solar Power Project to Switch to Photovoltaic. German concentrated solar thermal power developer Solar Millennium announced that it was selling Blythe and three other solar energy projects in its pipeline to solarhybrid. 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.

By José Santamarta,