It looks like another German-based solar pioneer is dissolving- Solar Millennium AG, one of the original leaders in concentrating solar.
The company was chosen to build some of the largest solar plants in the US and elsewhere in the world, but concentrating solar, which at first looked so attractive is now struggling as a technology.
Concentrating solar was seen as a less expensive alternative to solar PV, but now that prices have dropped precipitously for PV, it can't compete. It also uses a lot of water which puts it at a disadvantage as many large solar projects are being built in deserts. Many of the plants under construction in the US have switched from concentrating solar PV.
Solar Millennium's US arm, Solar Trust of America, says it will continue on. It is developing the 1000 MG Blythe Solar Power Project, the largest solar facility in the world, in California.
The company has 1,250 MW of additional solar projects in advanced stages of development in California and Nevada. Solar Trust of America works across the solar value chain, including project design, financing, procurement, construction, operation, and management.
"Yesterday, Solar Millennium AG, the majority owner of the equity of Solar Trust of America, announced the initiation of insolvency proceedings in Germany. These proceedings do not directly impact Solar Trust of America, a Delaware limited liability company."
Solar Trust entered a joint venture with solarhybrid AG to develop projects together based on a combination of solar PV and concentrating technologies. solarhybrid will buy substantially all the projects developed by Solar Trust, which total 1.75 GW.
"The solar power market has changed radically in a short time. Earlier this year, Solar Trust of America made the tough but correct choice to change the technology of its projects from solar thermal to PV. With solarhybrid, we will soon complete that conversion, and proceed with construction of a number of the largest solar power facilities in the world," says Uwe Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Solar Trust.