SeeNews — The US Department of Interior (DOI) has given its nod to NextEra Energy’s (NYSE:NEE) plan to use solar photovoltaic (PV) technology instead of solar parabolic-trough for its 485-MW Blythe project in California.

The approval was granted on August 1, the DOI said in a press release on Tuesday.

The Blythe project was previously owned by Palo Verdes Solar I LLC, a unit of Solar Millennium, which was granted consent in 2010 for a 1,000-MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant.

NextEra bought the project and in April 2013 cut its size by more than a half to 485 MW. The amended proposal involves the installation of three separate solar plants of 125 MW each and a fourth one of 110 MW.

In order to get approval for the technology change, NextEra had to prepare a new environmental impact statement (EIS) report that was released in May. The developer plans to build the park in 48 months, it said previously.

The scheme triggered considerable opposition among environmental groups. In a report from October the California energy watchdog said that the USD-1.13-billion (EUR 845m) complex would negatively affect areas of biological and cultural resources even with the proposed mitigation measures.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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