The DOE has finalized a $1.6 billion loan guarantee with the California company BrightSource Energy, Inc. to complete the construction of three concentrated solar power plants.

BrightSource estimates the project will create more than 1,000 jobs and, once operational, will produce enough solar energy to power 85,000 homes a year. The facility will also avoid more than 640,000 tons of carbon pollution a year, which is the same as taking 120,000 cars off the road.

Both of California’s senators weighed in:

“This is the Energy Department’s first solar generation loan in California and I hope it will be followed by many more. I believe we must support and nurture the solar industry, and the only way the vast majority of these projects will become reality is through the federal loan guarantee program," said Senator Dianne Feinstein.

"This loan guarantee will help create clean-energy jobs, increase our energy independence, protect our children from dangerous pollution and strengthen California’s clean energy economy," said Senator Barbara Boxer said.

Since 2009, the Department of Energy has issued more than $18 billion in loan guarantees to support 20 clean energy projects across 14 states. Together the projects will produce nearly 23 million megawatt-hours, enough to power over two million homes.