This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 13, 2011

DOE Finalizes $1.6 Billion Solar Loan Guarantee, Offers another $1.1 Billion PV Loan Guarantee

DOE finalized $1.6 billion in loan guarantees to support the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System, which consists of three related utility-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in California, the agency said on April 11. A day later, DOE announced the conditional commitment for a $1.187 billion loan guarantee for the California Valley Solar Ranch photovoltaic (PV) project, sponsored by SunPower Corporation.

The Ivanpah project, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is sponsored by BrightSource Energy, Inc., will be located on federally owned land in the Mojave Desert near the Nevada border. It will be one of the world's largest CSP complexes. The company estimates the project will create approximately 1,000 construction jobs as well as 86 operations and maintenance jobs. Ivanpah will generate approximately 392 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power 85,000 homes. Such production will avoid more than 640,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to taking more than 120,000 cars off the road. The project includes solar fields containing more than 173,000 dual-mirror heliostats, which are programmed to follow the sun, and "power towers" to collect the energy. Electricity from the project will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison Company. See the DOE press release and this coverage in EERE Network News.

The California Valley Solar Ranch photovoltaic (PV) project, which is being built in San Luis Obispo County, California, includes the construction of a 250 MW alternating current photovoltaic (PV) solar generating facility. This will be the largest utility-scale PV project in the United States to use tracking technology combined with an innovative monitoring system. It is estimated that it will improve annual output by approximately 25% compared with traditional fixed PV installations. California Valley Solar Ranch is expected to create 350 jobs during construction and 10-15 permanent jobs, while avoiding 430,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. It will produce enough electricity to power nearly 60,000 homes served by Pacific Gas and Electric. DOE's Loan Programs Office has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling $19 billion to support 21 clean energy projects. See the DOE press release and the Loan Programs Office website.