Until a few months ago, both Blythe and Palen were due to be flagship installations for concentrating solar power (CSP) technology. However, in August Solar Millenium chose to switch the latter to PV and solarhybrid now plans to do the same at Blythe when it completes the purchase at the end of the month.
This U-turn is reflective of a growing trend throughout the solar industry to forgo CPV in favour of the cheaper and more widely used PV; Abengoa’s decision to use CPV on its 280MW Mojave Solar Project faced an anxious wait as opposition from the California Public Utilities Commission held up financing and permitting.
Prior to solarhybrid’s takeover, Solar Millenium’s project pipeline – which totalled 2.25GW – was developed by its subsidiary, Solar Trust of America. Despite giving up ownership, Solar Millenium will still get a share of the profits once Blythe and Palen are completed, which it will put towards its non-US concentrated solar power ventures.