United States Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the Department of Energy has finalized a $967 million loan guarantee to Agua Caliente Solar, LLC, which will help fund the construction of the Agua Caliente Solar project, a 290-megawatt photovoltaic solar generating facility in Yuma County, Arizona that will utilize thin film solar panels manufactured by First Solar, Inc. The project sponsor, NRG Solar LLC, estimates the photovoltaic generation facility will fund approximately 400 construction jobs and 10 full time operating jobs, and when completed will be one of the largest plants of its kind in the world.
Secretary Chu says, “The Agua Caliente Solar project will bring hundreds of jobs to Arizona, while helping increase the reliability of renewable solar power. Today’s announcement, in addition to several recent offers of conditional commitments for loan guarantees to solar manufacturing and generation projects, demonstrates the Administration’s ongoing commitment to creating clean energy jobs while bringing innovative renewable energy technologies to the market.”
According to the DOE, the Agua Caliente Solar project “will deploy fault ride-through and dynamic voltage regulation, innovative technologies that are new to photovoltaic solar power plants in the United States. These technologies will improve the reliability and predictability of the electricity supplied to the electricity grid. Pacific Gas & Electric Company will purchase power generated from the project and will deliver clean, renewable electricity to California consumers.”
The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office administers three separate programs: the Title XVII Section 1703 and Section 1705 loan guarantee programs, and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. The loan guarantee programs support the deployment of commercial technologies along with technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. The ATVM supports the development of advanced vehicle technologies.