Brown Lauds Job Creation at World’s Largest Solar Energy Project


6-17-2011

BLYTHE — California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today joined Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and other federal, state and local officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Blythe Solar Power Project, a plan to build the largest solar energy facility in the world. The project will bring thousands of construction jobs to Riverside County and help California obtain 33 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

“It makes sense to power California with renewable wind and solar energy that protects clean air and water and promotes energy independence,” Governor Brown said. “Renewable energy projects also stimulate business investment in California and create thousands of new jobs.”

Brown also visited six other solar and wind energy projects—just 5% of the state’s 270 total renewable energy projects—including: First Solar’s Desert Sunlight, Solar Millenium’s Palen Solar Power Project, NextEra’s Genesis facility, Solar Reserve’s Rice Airfield Project, Abengoa’s Mojave Solar Project, and Terragen’s Alta-Oak Creek wind power project (also the world’s largest wind project).

The projects Brown visited today are estimated to create 5,390 new construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs in California. Upon completion, these power plants will generate 3,470 megawatts of energy, or 6 percent of California’s peak energy requirement, which is enough energy to power more than 1.4 million single-family homes.

In 2010, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies surveyed 12 solar, wind, and geothermal projects and found an average of 4,258 jobs would be created per month during construction. Skilled and non-skilled trades needed to work on these projects include steel and ironworkers, teamsters, plumbers and pipefitters, cement masons, electricians, operating engineers, and managers and general laborers. These projects would also bring nearly 1,000 long-term operations and maintenance jobs to California.

California’s move toward renewable energy is creating thousands of new jobs and providing economic benefits including:

• Investment of approximately $250 million to $1.5 billion for a typical project
• Hundreds to thousands of skilled and non-skilled workers employed per month
• Long-term operations of approximately 30-40 years

In April 2011, Brown signed SBX1 2, which requires that one-third of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020. The renewable energy projects Brown visited today represent a significant step toward meeting state requirements to obtain 33 percent of energy from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2020.

Other federal, state and local officials and contractors attending today's groundbreaking ceremony in Blythe included Bob Abbey, Bureau of Land Management Director, John Laird, California Secretary of Natural Resources, Joseph DeConinck, Mayor of Blythe, Uwe T. Schmidt, Solar Trust CEO, and Christoph Wolff, CEO of Solar Millennium AG.

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