$1.2 Billion Loan Guarantee Support California Solar Power Plant

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Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 9:43 pm

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the DOE finalized a $1.2 billion loan guarantee to Mojave Solar LLC for the development of the Mojave Solar Project. When complete, the 250 MW solar generation project located in San Bernardino County, Calif., will increase the nation's currently installed concentrating solar power capacity by approximately 50 percent. Abengoa Solar Inc., the project sponsor, estimates it will fund more than 900 construction and permanent operations jobs.

"Investments in solar generation facilities like the Mojave Solar Project are critical to our effort to create good, clean energy jobs in America and compete with countries like China in the global clean energy race," said Secretary Chu. "This project will supply local utilities with energy, help drive down the cost of solar power, and fund more than 900 American jobs, all at minimal risk to the taxpayer."

MSP will be the nation's first 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 90s. The SCA, which was originally developed in connection with an award from the Department'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 percent 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. An estimated 80 percent of total costs, including both capital equipment and labor, are expected to be sourced in the U.S. MSP will purchase all of the receiver tubes from a facility in New Mexico, the parabolic trough mirrors from a new facility in Arizona and other key equipment from different suppliers in several states across the country. The project is supported by a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric, one of the country's largest electric utilities, to sell the energy produced by MSP for a 25-year contract period.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy


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