Solar Millennium’s Blythe project in California has moved a step closer to completion by securing a conditional commitment for a US$2.1 billion loan guarantee. The loan will help cover 75% of the financing for what will be the world’s largest PV system when it is connected to the grid in 2013.

The US Federal Financing Bank’s loan guarantee will help Solar Millenium finance the first two 242MW power plants in the project’s portfolio. Total investment for this first phase amounts to around US$2.8 billion, while the cost of all four plants will come close to US$6 billion.

Solar Millennium’s sub division Solar Trust of America is carrying out the initial building stage and began work on the parabolic trough power plants at the end of last year. Southern California Edison has agreed to buy the electricity generated by the plants when they are completed in 2013 and 2014.

"In times of restrictive public budgets, I am particularly pleased that the US Government is so clearly committed to the energy turnaround, in which our Blythe power plants will have a great share. For us this commitment is the most important prerequisite for entering into successful and detailed negotiations with institutional investors regarding their involvement in the two power plant projects," Solar Millennium CEO Christoph Wolff said.

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