Seeking Alpha

The world's largest solar power project, the 1,000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in...

The world's largest solar power project, the 1,000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in southern California, could be in jeopardy after Solar Trust of America filed for bankruptcy protection. Solar Trust holds the development rights for the project, which has a $2.1B government loan guarantee.
Comments (16)
  • "Solar Trust holds the development rights for the project, which has a $2.1B taxpayer funded loan guarantee."


    There. Fixed it for you.
    4 Apr 2012, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • obama
    hope and change for the future - right chu?
    4 Apr 2012, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • I think we should blythely stick it where the sun don't shine! :)
    4 Apr 2012, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • Anyone bother reading the article, or just in a rush to post inane irrelevancies?


    From the article:


    "filed for bankruptcy protection after its majority owner began insolvency proceedings in Germany"


    Exactly what Obama has to do with a German company going bankrupt I have no idea.


    Further, "conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy."


    as in, the money has not been disbursed yet in its entirety if at all.
    4 Apr 2012, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • Apparently solar isn't a practical investment even in Germany...or anywhere.
    4 Apr 2012, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • You must not run a business.
    4 Apr 2012, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • I've run and owned businesses, but what does that have to do with solar power? I can tell you this, right after Obama was elected, I dived deep into STP thinking I'd get in ahead of solar. Learned my lesson on solar early.
    5 Apr 2012, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • Solar power as a cap ex on a 3 year payback makes a lot of sense, i.e. it is an extremely practical investment.


    On a governmental level it facilitates GDP growth by focusing energy costs inside the domestic economy and increasing effective productivity. I.e. there are lots of reasons solar makes sense if you understand the model.


    If you are investing in solar stocks just as improved process technology and low global labor costs have come together to make a mess of solar company balance sheets... well that's another story.
    5 Apr 2012, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • Thks for your considered reply, kmi, but I dropped all solar investments between 2 and 3 years ago. I don't see that the value in return for investment is practical, at least as yet. I've nothing against green energy, but for the time being see nat gas as the more (again I use the word) "practical" in terms of return for investment approach. Btw, I live in Arizona and have also watched the struggling First Solar and of course Solyndra quite closely.
    5 Apr 2012, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • Well, nat gas at these prices makes the case for utility scale and residential use renewables impossible. On an equity investment level, I hold utilities and transmission line companies over solar/renewable companies for that precise reason.


    However, from governmental and business level perspectives the ROI makes a tremendous amount of sense. I was merely pointing this out since your comment suggested there was no value to the renewable proposition anywhere.
    5 Apr 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • "no value to the renewable proposition"? Really? I'm repeatedly "suggesting" a comparative limited value of return for investment. Perhaps your valuation is slanted toward environmentalism?
    5 Apr 2012, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • Your comment above, quoted in whole, reads:


    "Apparently solar isn't a practical investment even in Germany...or anywhere."


    Which I pointed out is wrong. Perhaps you could point out what parts of my comments you don't understand so I can clarify?


    As for your feeble attempt to politicize this discussion by raising the 'environmentalist' flag, I'll point out I am businessman who is benefiting from cap ex on renewables, and who is tired of the rants claiming there is no value in the renewable space by folks who simply don't understand the business proposition.
    5 Apr 2012, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • Well, now you're being rude and condescending without knowledge of my background. I'll say And I'll try shouting....PRACTICAL. From a ...practical...point of view, how is solar energy working out for you so far? (Don't bother to respond; I'm done here.)
    5 Apr 2012, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Well if you should chance to revisit here is how this plays out:


    On a property I own a gas conversion (oil to gas on existing equipment) in my area costs about $30k. This includes a new service from the utility, piping and some conversion hardware. If I did a complete overhaul of my equipment (i.e. new boilers etc) on the same property costs shoots to over 50k as high as 70k.


    A solar hot water system costs comes in at about the same contracted out except that I don't need the utility and can actually do a lot of the work on site with my own people. However solar hot water systems are often paired with upgraded equipment (high efficiency condensing boilers) to push the total system cost over that of a conversion, which in my experience isn't necessary but an installer will try and sell it to you.


    Both systems would cut my expenses by about 40% in this market.


    The difference? There is no concern of solar energy suddenly increasing in price due to a shortage, a geopolitical event, or something else and, in fact there is significantly less maintenance on a solar hot water system.


    So even if gas and solar cost the same, to install, and lead to precisely the same short term cost reduction benefit, you win long term.
    5 Apr 2012, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • I guess the next step to solar power after the failure of private firms is a TVA like agency to pump all the money into these ideas.
    4 Apr 2012, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • Unfortunately, "clean" energy is not so good for the environment:



    until people realize there is no politically correct solution, we won't get rational thought and rational execution when it comes to our energy policy. Or lack of.
    4 Apr 2012, 01:20 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)