Solar Trust of America Expands into Solar PV

Solar Trust of America, the company behind the one gigawatt (GW) Blythe concentrated solar power (CSP) plant located in California – said to be the largest of its kind in the world – will take advantage of a $2.1 billion federal loan guarantee to form a joint venture with German solar PV juggernaut SolarHybrid AG. 
The new company, SolarHybrid of America, LLC, will marry solar thermal and photovoltaic technology to develop, build and manage utility-scale solar projects in North America, bringing down the price of solar power to levels cost-competitive with fossil-fuels.
The merger is a gamble for Solar Trust of America, which has focused its efforts primarily on large scale solar thermal and CSP projects, whereas SolarHybrid is a leading developer of photovoltaic power plants, with over 220 megawatts (MW) in operation around the world. By combining the respective talents and technical expertise of both companies, Solar Trust’s CEO Uwe T. Schmidt hopes a new solar star will emerge in the American renewable energy market.
“This combination of strengths in the two technologies, solar thermal and PV, gives us great advantages in the struggle for the leadership position in the U.S. solar market that will develop over the next few years, the largest in the world,” he said.
Initially, SolarHybrid will build photovoltaic solar plants in connection with developed solar thermal systems, supplying power to industrial customers. Later, large-scale stand-alone PV plants will be built.
Tom Schroeder, CEO of SolarHybrid AG said, “Under Uwe T. Schmidt’s leadership, Solar Trust of America has made huge strides in securing permits and financing for large-scale solar in the U.S. The Blythe project is the world’s most important attempt to harness the power of the sun for mankind’s energy needs.”