President Obama has announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has offered a conditional commitment for a $1.45 billion loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar Inc., as well as a loan guarantee to Abound Solar Inc.
Abengoa's loan will support the construction and start-up of Solana, a 250 MW concentrating solar power plant in Arizona. Solana will include six hours of molten-salt thermal energy-storage capability, which will allow energy to be dispatched as needed during cloudy periods and after sunset, Abengoa says. The plant will be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Ariz.
‘This conditional guarantee could allow us to start construction of Solana this year,’ notes Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar. According to Seage, Solana is in a very advanced stage of development and permitting, having received most of its authorizations from local, county and state authorities.
Abound plans to construct two new plants with the funds from its loan guarantee, according to the White House. The facilities, which will be located in Colorado and Indiana, are expected to create more than 2,000 construction jobs, and over 1,500 permanent jobs as the plants produce millions of solar panels each year.