DOE Still Putting Up Millions for Solar Companies

by Andrew Stiles

The Obama administration put up half a billion dollars of taxpayer money in the hope that Solyndra would, in the words of Vice President Biden, “allow America to compete and to lead like we did in the 20th century.” The firm has just filed for bankruptcy. 

As Rich writes today, there were ample warning signs that the administration appears to have ignored. So it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that just last week, before news of Solyndra’s failure broke, the Department of Energy announced another giant loan guarantee for a solar power company in California:

Washington D.C. — U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the Department of Energy finalized a partial guarantee for an $852 million loan to support the development of the Genesis Solar Project. The Genesis Solar Project is a 250 megawatt (MW) parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) facility that will increase the nation’s currently installed CSP capacity by about 50 percent. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the project sponsor, estimates it will fund approximately 800 construction jobs and 47 operating jobs. The project is located on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Riverside County, California.

“This project creates jobs, avoids greenhouse gas emissions and helps strengthen our nation’s renewable energy future,” said Secretary Chu. “With the support of loan guarantees, we will enable the deployment of clean, renewable sources at scale, which will help bring down the cost of solar power in the years to come.”

So the project “creates jobs” at a rate of about $1 million per. I suppose that given the latest jobs report, we could certainly use those 847 jobs, but come on. And will anyone want to take those jobs, after seeing what just happened to the workers at Solyndra? Keep an eye on the Genesis Solar Project.