Another $2.1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for the Solar Industry

by Greg Pollowitz

What makes this latest guarantee from Team Obama interesting is that they’re providing the guarantee to big-oil giant Chevron:

The developer of a massive 1,000-megawatt solar thermal plant in California’s San Luis Obispo County has secured a $2.1 billion conditional loan guarantee from the United States Department of Energy.

Yesterday, the DOE announced that it is funding the construction of the Blythe Solar Power Project, a joint venture of German solar power company Solar Millennium’s U.S. Subsidiary and Chevron Energy Solutions.

The DOE’s loan will only cover building the first two phases of the Blythe Solar Power project; each phase will introduce an identical 250-megawatt (MW) solar plant. The plants are being built adjacent to one another on approximately 5,950 acres of land.

The loan guarantee program is a product of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The work will employ 1,000 construction workers, according to Forbes.

“Loan guarantees play an important role in facilitating the development and deployment of innovative technologies at massive scope and scale,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a prepared statement. “Continued investments like this project make solar power more efficient and cost competitive while creating thousands of jobs and strengthening the economy.”

Secretary Chu would have us believe that Chevron couldn’t arrange its own financing for this project? Nonsense.