Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: Unit 1 - April 28, 2016
Operational: Unit 2 - October 28, 2016

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application For Certification on September 15, 2010. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Key Dates

  • Unit 1

  • General Description of Project

    Palo Verde Solar I LLC (PVSI) the original applicant, filed an Application for Certification on August 24, 2009 (09-AFC-06) proposing to build a 1,000 megawatt (MW) solar thermal electric generating facility located 8 miles west of Blythe, California, and 2 miles north of Interstate 10. That proposal was approved by the Energy Commission on September 15, 2010. PVSI’s successor, NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center LLC (NextEra), received Energy Commission approval to convert the proposed facility from solar thermal to photovoltaic (PV) generation technology, with an output of 485 MW.

    The Blythe Solar Power Project (BSPP) is located approximately 8 miles west of the City of Blythe and 2 miles north of the Interstate-10 freeway, on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Riverside County, California.

    The original approved BSPP was to consist of four adjacent, independent units of 250-megawatt (MW) nominal capacity each for a total nominal capacity of 1,000 MW. The proposed total acreage for the site was approximately 7,043 acres of BLM-managed land, including linear facilities.

    The modified BSPP, approved in January 2014, includes replacing the solar thermal technology completely with photovoltaic (PV) generating technology and reducing the physical size of the project. Linear access to the site would be the same as that of the approved BSPP, and the modified BSPP would continue to interconnect to the regional transmission grid via the same proposed gen-tie line to Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) Colorado River Substation (CRS).

    NextEra proposes to develop the BSPP in four operational phases designed to generate a total of approximately 485 MW of electricity. The first three units (phases) would generate approximately 125 MW each. The fourth unit would generate approximately 110 MW. The transmission corridor is located in the center of the site and follows the access road.

    The modified BSPP is located entirely on public land within BLM Right-of-Way Grant No. CACA–048811. The total proposed acreage for the modified BSPP site is approximately 4,070 acres, excluding linear facilities outside of the proposed solar plant site.

    Construction of the modified BSPP began in March 2015. Unit 1 (110 MW) became operational on April 28, 2016. Unit 2 (125 MW) became operation on October 28, 2016. Units 3 and 4 are currently under construction.

    On August 10, 2016, the energy commission approved a petition to transfer ownership of the Blythe Solar Power Project (BSPP), Unit 1, from NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center LLC to Blythe Solar 110, LLC and Unit 2 from NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center LLC to Blythe Solar II, LLC.

    Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

    The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

    For Questions about this Certification Proceeding Contact:

    Eric Veerkamp
    Compliance Project Manager
    Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
    California Energy Commission
    1516 Ninth Street, MS-2000
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: 916-661-8458

    For Questions About Public Participation In Certification Proceedings Contact:

    Public Advisor
    California Energy Commission
    1516 Ninth Street, MS-12 Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: 916-654-4489
    Toll-Free in California: 1-800-822-6228

    News Media Please Contact:

    Media & Public Communications Office
    Phone: 916-654-4989

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