California Solar Power Plant Backed by $1.2 Billion DOE Loan Guarantee

September 14, 2011

DOE announced on September 13 that it had finalized a $1.2 billion loan guarantee to Mojave Solar LLC for the development of the Mojave Solar Project in California. When complete, the 250-megawatt solar generation project in San Bernardino County will increase the nation's currently installed concentrating solar power (CSP) capacity by about 50%. Abengoa Solar Inc., the project sponsor, estimates it will fund more than 900 construction and permanent operations jobs.

The project will be the first U.S. utility-scale deployment of Abengoa's latest solar collector assembly, a significant improvement over the prior generation of solar concentrating technology installed in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. The collector, which was originally developed in connection with an award from the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, has a number of advanced features, including a lighter, stronger frame designed to hold parabolic mirrors that are easier and less expensive to build and install. The new heat collection element increases thermal efficiency by up to 30% over first generation CSP plants. The Mojave Solar Project will avoid more than 350,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and is anticipated to generate enough electricity to power more than 54,000 homes. See the DOE press release.