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US govt approves EDF's 500-MW Palen PV project in California


US govt approves EDF's 500-MW Palen PV project in California

November 5 (Solar) – The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has given its consent to a long-delayed project calling for the construction of a 500-MW solar park in California’s Riverside County, it was announced last week.

The authorisation was granted to EDF Renewable Energy’s Palen project that was previously owned by Spanish group Abengoa SA (BME:ABG). The original application was submitted some 10 years ago and was for a solar power tower project, while EDF opted for changing the proposed technology to solar photovoltaic (PV) and later applied for a revision of the application.

The 500-MW Palen solar park will cover up to 3,140 acres of BLM-administered lands in eastern Riverside County and will include a single-circuit 230-kV generation interconnection transmission line that will feed power into Southern California Edison's existing Red Bluff Substation. Once up and running in 2020, the complex will be able to generate enough electricity to meet the demand of around 130,000 households. The project will require a total infrastructure investment of around USD 1 billion (EUR 877.5m).

The Palen project was initially owned by a subsidiary of Solar Millenium which went bankrupt in 2012. The scheme was subsequently acquired by BrightSource Energy Inc, which later partnered with Abengoa. The Spanish group bought BrightSource's stake in 2014.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.8775)

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