$2.1billion Government loan for solar plant

The world's largest solar plant has been backed financially after the Government underwrote $2.1billion worth of loans for the scheme.

America’s Department of Energy has offered the conditional commitment loan guarantee for the Blythe Solar Power Project, which is sponsored by Solar Trust of America.

It is estimated the Californian plant will create more than 1000 jobs and cut 710,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

The cash will guarantee the development units one and two of the site, both of which will generate 1,000 MW of solar power using parabolic trough technology.

Both units will include HelioTroughT collectors, which feature a larger yet simplified design, making them less expensive to build and install, and more efficient than earlier trough technology.

The project will also be the first concentrating solar power (CSP) parabolic trough plant to use an air-cooled condenser unit, which it’s claimed will reduce water use by nearly 90% compared with a water-cooled CSP facility.

The project will sell all of its electricity output to Southern California Edison and will deliver power into the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) power grid.

US energy secretary, Steven Chu, said: “Loan guarantees play an important role in facilitating the development and deployment of innovative technologies at massive scope and scale.”

The Department of Energy, through the Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totalling more than $21 billion to support 22 clean energy projects across 14 states.

Luke Walsh

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