Feds Back Big Solar Power With Nearly $2 Billion in Loan Guarantees

sun flare photo

photo: Cam Vilay

While you were watching fireworks this past weekend, the Department of Energy has announced $1.85 billion in loan guarantees for some big solar power projects--what promises to be one of the world's largest concentrating solar power plants in Arizona and two thin film solar panel manufacturing plants in Colorado and Indiana. 70,000 Homes Supplied With Solar Power by 2013
The 280 MW Solana concentrating solar power plant, to be constructed by Abengoa Solar, will be built in Gila Bend, Arizona (southwest of Phoenix). Abengoa's CEO told Greentech Media the $1.45 billion loan guarantee it's received will allow the project to move onto the construction phase later this year and be completed by 2013.

Solana will use a trough-based concentrating system (parabolic mirrors focus sunlight onto tubes containing liquid) to generate power, backed up with six hours of molten salt storage which will allow the plant to dispatch power well into the evening--all generating enough power for about 70,000 homes.

concentrating solar power trough diagram

Diagram of how trough-based concentrating solar power works: Abengoa
1500 Solar Power Manufacturing Jobs to be Created
Loveland, Colorado-based Abound Solar's new thin film solar panel manufacturing plants are expected to create about 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs (BBC News).

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More on Solar Power:
Good News for Solar Thermal: $1.37B in Loan Guarantees to BrightSource Energy for 400MW
First Solar-Hybrid Power Plant Opens in Israel
1,300 Megawatts of Solar Thermal Power to be Developed in Mojave Desert by BrightSource Energy

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