Largest Concentrating Solar Plant Gets Green Light from DOE

The US Dept of Energy (DOE) finalized a $1.45 billion loan guarantee for Abengoa Solar’s Solana plant, the world’s largest parabolic trough concentrating solar plant.

Located near Gila Bend, Arizona, the 250-megawatt project is the first large-scale solar plant in the US capable of storing energy it generates. The plant will provide energy for 70,000 homes, while avoiding 475,000 tons of carbon emissions a year compared to a natural gas plant.

The project is spawning a mirror manufacturing factory near Phoenix to supply the 900,000 mirrors for Solana. 70% of the plant’s components will be built in the US including mirrors,  receiver tubes, and heat transfer fluid.

Arizona Public Service Company signed a long term power agreement (PPA) to buy all the electricity.

"This is yet another example of stimulus funds helping to lead our nation’s and Arizona’s economy back to recovery, while transitioning our energy policies to allow us to become a national and world leader in alternative energy generation," said Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).

Abengoa Solar estimates the Solana project will create about 1650 constuction jobs and over 60 permanent solar jobs in  Arizona and neighboring states.

The Department of Energy, through the Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees to support 16 clean energy projects totaling nearly $16.5 billion. Together, the 16 projects will produce over 37 million megawatt-hours, enough clean energy to power over 3.3 million homes.  

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