The approval will enable Solar Millennium to build and operate the parabolic trough solar facility in Riverside County, California that will consist of four 250MW plants to deliver 1,000MW of total generating capacity – enough to annually power more than 300,000 single-family homes.

The company is in discussions with the US Department of Energy‘s (DOE) Loan Guarantee Program to secure debt financing for the first two units at Blythe, the construction on which is expected to begin by the end of the year.

Once constructed, the Blythe facility is expected to deliver almost 10% towards the Energy Policy Act of 2005’s 10gW goal for renewable energy generation on public lands by 2015, while reducing CO2 emissions by nearly one million short tons per year.

Solar Millennium executive chairman Uwe Schmidt said that this is a historic day not only for Blythe Solar Power Project but for the entire renewable energy industry.

“As we move to the construction phase of our Blythe plant, we will clearly demonstrate how solar energy can help power California’s and our country’s future while creating thousands of jobs and stimulating the local and state economies,” Schmidt said.