The DOE loan guarantee program has disbursed $30.7 billion and claims to have created or saved 62,350 jobs.

Add $2 billion more to the dollar total and 1,800 to the jobs total with today's news.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu just announced the offer of conditional commitments to provide loan guarantees to support two 250-megawatt concentrating solar power (CSP) projects:

  • The Mojave Solar Project, sponsored by Abengoa Solar in San Bernardino County, California is being offered a $1.2 billion loan guarantee.
  • The Genesis Solar Project, sponsored by NextEra Energy Resources on land managed by the BLM in Riverside County, California is being offered up to a $681.6 million loan guarantee.

Both projects employ parabolic trough solar thermal technology, and power from both projects will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).

I've heard some PV executives claim that CSP projects can't be built without loan guarantees -- and that any project without a loan guarantee is doomed.

Brett Prior, Greentech Media Research's CSP expert, made the point that although the loan guarantee program has been criticized for moving too slowly, it looks like the DOE is finally granting approvals for these large projects. He adds that while it is a difficult and arduous process, if you can reduce your borrowing cost by 1 percent or 2 percent on these enormous projects, then the economics make sense.

We've covered the details and the pros and cons of the loan guarantee program here. And we covered another recent modest loan guarantee for FRV's 20-megawatt Apex project here.

Here's a list of the DOE loan guarantees to date -- not including the most recent three projects.

        Program
        Technology
Amount
    Location
       
1703
 
        AREVA
        Nuclear
        $2B
  ID
        Georgia Power
        Nuclear Gen
        $8.3B
  GA
        Red River Enviro
        Energy Eff
        $245M
  CO
        SAGE Electrochrom
        Energy Eff
        $72M
  MN
       
1705
 
        Abengoa Solar
        Solar Gen
        $1.4B
  CO
        Abound Solar
        Solar Mfg
        $400M
  CO
        AES Corporation
        Storage
        $17M
  VA
        Agua Caliente
        Solar Gen
        $967M
  AZ
        Beacon Power
        Storage
        $43M
  MA
        BrightSource Energy
        Solar Gen
        $1.6B
  CA
        Caithness Shprds Flat
        Wind Gen
        $1.3B
  NY
        Cogentrix of Alamosa
        Solar Gen
        $90.6M
  CO
        Diamond Green Diesel
        Adv Biofuels
        $241M
  TX
        Kahuku Wind Power
        Wind Gen
        $117M
  MA
        LS Power Associates
        Transmission
        $343M
  NJ
        Nevada Geothermal
        Geothermal
        $78.8M
  BC
        Nordic Windpower
        Wind Mfg
        $16M
  CA
        Record Hill Wind
        Wind Gen
        $102M
  ME
        Solar Trust
        Solar Gen
        $2.1B
  CA
        SolarReserve
        Solar Gen
        $734M
  NV
        SoloPower
        Solar Mfg
        $197M
  OR
        Solyndra Inc.
        Solar Mfg
        $535M
  CA
        SunPower (CVSR)
        Solar Gen
        $1.1B
  CA
        US Geothermal
        Geothermal
        $97M
  ID

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