NextEra Downsizes California Solar Project From World’s Largest

NextEra Energy Inc., the largest generator of U.S. solar energy, said a project in southern California that was expected to be the world’s biggest will be less than half its initially planned size.

NextEra’s Blythe solar farm will be built in four phases totaling 485 megawatts of capacity, according to amended planning documents posted today on the California Energy Commission’s website. It was initially proposed as a 1,000-megawatt project.

NextEra is downsizing the project to streamline the permitting process and reduce its environmental impact, according to the filing. The capital cost may be as much as $1.13 billion.

NextEra received approval June 27 from a bankruptcy court to purchase Blythe from the former developer, the bankrupt Solar Trust of America LLC.

The project’s first three phases will each have 125 megawatts of capacity and the fourth will have 110 megawatts, according to the documents. Construction may begin as early as June 2014 and last four years, NextEra said. The cost wasn’t disclosed.

NextEra, based in Juno Beach, Florida, hasn’t chosen a solar panel supplier and is considering equipment from First Solar Inc. and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., it said.

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