I have good news. Today, the Department of Energy offered a $2.1 billion conditional commitment loan guarantee to support a concentrating solar thermal power plant near Blythe, California.

This is the largest amount ever offered to a solar project through our the Department’s Loan Programs Office. The loan will support two units of the Blythe Solar Power Project that will have a combined 484 megawatt generating capacity. These units are part of a larger project, sponsored by Solar Trust of America, that when completed will generate 1,000 megawatts of solar power, enough to power 95,000 homes a year.

The project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs and is estimated to avoid more than 710,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 123,000 vehicles.

The Department’s loan guarantees play a critical role in facilitating the large-scale deployment of innovative clean energy technologies. Including loans for advanced vehicle technologies, the Department has committed financing to support 27 clean energy projects that will create or save more than 60,000 jobs across the U.S.

Today, we are in a global race to develop and deploy clean energy technologies.  We can either sit on the sidelines and watch the competition pass us by or we can get in the race and play to win. 

When we rev up the great American innovation machine, we can out-compete any other nation.

To spur innovation and grow the domestic clean energy market, President Obama has proposed doubling the amount of electricity we generate from clean energy sources by 2035. Investments in projects like the Blythe Solar Power Project will help meet this goal while creating jobs and positioning the U.S. to lead in the solar industry. 

Steven Chu is the Secretary of Energy. blog.energy.gov/

Blythe Solar Power Project is a harbinger of 21st century environmental progress, technological advancement and economic change. Developed with a conscientious approach to its influence on the natural environment and local cultures, the solar thermal project will provide over 1,000 direct jobs to the local economy in Riverside County during construction.
The Blythe project will be the largest solar power plant facility in the world. The facility is expected to deliver almost ten percent of the Energy Policy Act of 2005’s 10 Gigawatt goal for renewable energy generation on public lands by 2015.
Upon completion the Blythe facility will deliver 1,000 Megawatts (MW) of nominal generating capacity, enough electricity to power more than 300,000 single-family homes each year. It will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 2 million tons per year, which is the equivalent of annually removing more than 300,000 cars from the road.
Once operational, the Blythe facility will house four individual power plants, each producing 250 MW of clean, renewable power. The energy they produce will be supplied to Southern California Edison, whose transmission lines will be used to deliver the power to areas where it is most needed.
The project is being built on public land in Riverside County, California as part of a federal public/private partnership. The project site is about 8 miles west of the City of Blythe, and between 2 and 3 miles north of Interstate 10. It is also 13 miles from the Blythe Intaglios.