DOE Loans $2.7 Billion to California Solar Projects

Money will go to the Desert Sunlight Project and California Valley Solar Ranch Project

By on October 3rd, 2011 07:25 GMT

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recently announced it has finalized several loan guarantees that are meant to support the development of solar power projects in the State of California.

Taken separately, a $1.237 billion (€908 million) loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch Project, sponsored by SunPower Corporation.

This is projected to be the largest utility-scale PV project in the U.S. to use tracking technology combined with an innovative monitoring system that combined will reportedly improve annual output by approximately 25 percent compared with traditional fixed PV installations.

The California Valley Solar Ranch Project is being built in San Luis Obispo County and includes the construction of a 250 megawatt alternating current photovoltaic (PV) solar generating facility and associated infrastructure. 

Aside from the 350 jobs that are to be created during construction, the project is also expected to avoid over 425,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and produce enough to power over 64,000 homes.

“This innovative solar power generation project will supply local utilities with clean energy, and fund hundreds of new American jobs” U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The investment in these technologies will strengthen our economy here at home and is crucial to our nation’s ability to compete in the global clean energy race.”

Secondly, partial loan guarantees of $1.46 billion (€1.07 billion) in loans have been granted to Desert Sunlight 250, LLC and Desert Sunlight 300, LLC to support the Desert Sunlight Project.

This is a 550 megawatt project located in eastern Riverside County, and which is expected to generate over 550 construction jobs.

Expected to be one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic plants, the facility is projected to generate enough electricity to power over 110,000 homes and avoid over 735,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

“To win the clean energy race we must invest in projects like this that fund jobs and increase the generation of clean, renewable power in the U.S.,” stated Secretary Chu.  “Deployment of utility-scale solar power will help bring down the cost of solar and strengthen our position as a global clean energy leader.”

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