World's Largest Solar PV Project Receives DOE Loan Guarantee
A 290-megawatt thin-film solar project expected to be the world's largest photovoltaic project (PV) has received a $967 million DOE loan guarantee, the agency announced on January 20. DOE's backing will support construction of NRG Solar's Caliente Solar generating facility in Yuma County, Arizona. The project, which will use First Solar Inc. thin-film solar panels, is scheduled to be completed in 2014. It will power about 100,000 homes and create 400 construction jobs. The company anticipates the project will avoid approximately 237,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, an amount equivalent to taking over 40,000 cars off the road annually.
The Agua Caliente Solar project will deploy fault ride-through and dynamic voltage regulation, technologies that are new to solar power plants in the United States. These technologies are designed to improve the reliability and predictability of the electricity generated by solar power plants and supplied to the electricity grid. Pacific Gas and Electric Company will purchase power generated from the project for California consumers. DOE, through the Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling more than $17 billion to support 17 clean energy projects. See the DOE press release, the NRG press release, and the Loan Programs Office Web site.