The US Interior Department has approved plans to build a 1,000MW solar power plant in California.

The $6bn project will be jointly developed by Solar Millennium and Ferrostaal and located on federal lands near Blythe, in the southern tip of California.

The Blythe solar project will consist of four concentrated solar electric generation facilities of 250MW capacity each.

Rows of curved mirrors up to 192m long will collect heat energy from the sun at the plant.

The first 250MW unit will become operational in 2013, followed by the second unit in 2014.