Solar Trust files for bankruptcy protection

California projects in peril after setback

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Rosemead-based Southern California Edison, which had a contract to purchase power from the Blythe project, said the bankruptcy will not hurt the utility’s strategy for obtaining 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020, as required by California law.

Edison planned for a 40 percent failure rate, said Bill Walsh, Edison’s manager of renewable procurement. “We’ve been planning for that reserve margin. It’s not as big a hit as you think it would be.”

Michael Picker, the governor’s senior adviser on renewable energy facilities, said he’s optimistic the Blythe project will eventually be completed, noting financial reversals aren’t unusual for large-scale projects.

“It’s got the land mass for something as big as 1,000 megawatts; it’s got transmission; it’s got permits; and I bet there’s some market for it,” he said. “I would not be surprised to see a couple bidders show up and get under way pretty soon.”

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