NextEra Wins Auction for World’s Biggest Solar Project

NextEra Energy Inc., the largest wind- and solar-power operator in the U.S., plans to buy the 1,000-megawatt Blythe project in Riverside County, California, which would be the world’s largest solar farm when complete.

NextEra, based in Juno Beach, Florida, was the top bidder for the unbuilt project in an auction for the assets of bankrupt Solar Trust of America LLC, according to an attorney representing creditors.

NextEra made “the highest and best bid after a spirited auction with good results for the debtors,” Donald Detweiler, an attorney with Pepper Hamilton LLP and counsel to the committee of unsecured creditors, said in a voice-mail message yesterday. He didn’t provide a price.

The winner of the auction couldn’t immediately be confirmed in court papers. The auction was held yesterday in Wilmington, Delaware, and a hearing to confirm the sale is scheduled for June 27.

NextEra’s bid is for rights to complete development of Blythe, including transmission access and land-use permits. A contract Solar Trust previously obtained with Edison International’s Southern California Edison would need to be renegotiated with a buyer of the project, Marc Ulrich, the utility’s vice president of alternative and renewable power, said in April.

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