Groundbreaking got underway for the Blythe Solar Power Project this past Friday, marking the official construction of what will be the world’s largest solar power plant. Located in Riverside County, California, the solar power plant will have an unprecedented installed capacity of 1,000 megawatts of solar thermal power.
California Governor Jerry Brown and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar both attended the ceremonial groundbreaking, hinting at the significance of such a massive endeavor. Projects like Blythe and the much discussed Ivanpah solar power project have California set to be the world leader in utilities-scale solar power.
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The Blythe Solar Power Project is to be built in phases, with the first expected to be operational and providing renewable electricity to 300,000 homes by 2013. While the project ran into some financial difficulties along the way, Governor Jerry Brown assured participants at the Blythe groundbreaking, “We're going to be the world leader in solar energy. Yes, I vetoed the budget. Yes, we will have fiscal discipline. [But] we can have more wealth if we have the discipline, if we have the imagination and are willing to do the hard work.”