The financial pipeline was cut short before engineers could begin operating the Blythe Solar Power Project, a 1,000-megawatt system with capacity to power 300,000 homes, according to the company.
The company filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday, the day after it was scheduled to make a $1 million rent payment to the U.S. Department of Interior for the acreage. Company officials said that the bankruptcy case would also protect the transmission-rights agreements it made with utilities.
“Without the [agreements], the Blythe Project would be unable to deliver electricity to market and would be rendered near, if not completely, valueless,” said Chief Operating Officer Edward Kleinschmidt in documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.
April 2 (Reuters) – Solar Trust of America LLC, which holds the development rights for the world’s largest solar power project, on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection after its majority owner began insolvency proceedings in Germany.
The Oakland-based company has held rights for the 1,000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in the Southern California desert, which last April won $2.1 billion of conditional loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is unclear how the bankruptcy will affect that project.
Solar Trust of America and several affiliates filed for protection from creditors with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware. It estimated to have as much as $10 million of assets, and between $50 million and $100 million of liabilities.
Blythe is about 220 miles (354 km) southeast of Los Angeles.
“We have been working with Solar Trust of America for a couple of years in getting this project going,” David Lane, Blythe’s city manager, said in an interview. “Although the project is not in the city limits, we are the only city within 100 miles. My sense is that with the large investment in what was to have been the world’s largest solar power plant, someone somewhere will buy it and build it.”
Here’s the big PR sheet for USDOI: doi_blythe_solar_power_project