DOE Finalizes Four Large Loan Guarantees For Solar Power Projects


U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu has announced the finalization of four loan guarantees. All of the contracts were announced on Sept. 30, which was the sunset date for certain important provisions of the DOE's loan-guarantee program.

The DOE has finalized the following loan guarantees:

A $1.237 billion loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch Project, sponsored by SunPower Corp. The project, which is being built in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., includes the construction of a 250 MW PV solar generating facility and associated infrastructure. The project has a power purchase agreement in place with Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

A partial guarantee for a $1.4 billion loan to support Project Amp, which includes the installation of approximately 752 MW of PV across approximately 750 existing rooftops owned and managed by Prologis. Solar installations will be built in up to 28 states and the District of Columbia.Â

NRG Energy is the lead investor for Phase I of the installations. Project Amp's application was submitted by the lender-applicant, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, under the Financial Institution Partnership Program.

A $646 million loan guarantee to AV Solar Ranch 1 LLC. The loan guarantee will support the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1 Project, a 230 MW cadmium-telluride thin-film PV solar generation facility that will be located in Antelope Valley in North Los Angeles County, Calif. The project was recently acquired by Exelon Corp.

The installation will employ First Solar's FS Series 3 PV Module as well as inverters with voltage regulation and monitoring technologies that are new to the U.S. market. A power purchase agreement is in place with Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Partial loan guarantees of $1.46 billion in loans to Desert Sunlight 250 LLC and Desert Sunlight 300 LLC to support the Desert Sunlight project. The 550 MW project is expected to be one of the world's largest solar photovoltaic plants. The project will be located on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in eastern Riverside County, Calif.

The Desert Sunlight project is expected to use approximately 8.8 million cadmium-telluride thin-film solar PV modules. Phase I will generate 300 MW of power, which will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., while Phase II will generate 250 MW of power, which will be sold to Southern California Edison.

The $1.46 billion in loans that are partially guaranteed by DOE will be funded by a group of investors led by lead lender and lender-applicant Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC, which submitted the project under the FIPP, and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. as co-lead arranger.

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