Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will be in California on Thursday for the formal opening of a huge solar-power project supported by his department’s green technology loan program.
The Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in the Mojave Desert, a vast array of mirrors that makes it the world’s largest solar project of its kind, was helped along by a $1.6 billion Energy Department loan guarantee in 2011.
Department officials are touting it as a major win for the loan-guarantee program, which has faced years of political attacks from Republicans over the 2011 collapse of the solar-panel manufacturing company Solyndra and some other flops.
But department officials note that in the main, the loan portfolio of more than two dozen projects has been a success—and point to Ivanpah as a big example.
The loan program was created through a bipartisan 2005 energy law but first began supporting projects under the Obama administration.
“This project was made possible by the successful public-private partnership between the Department of Energy and the project sponsors,” said Peter Davidson, executive director of the Energy Department’s loan programs office.
Ivanpah, a $2.2 billion project, is a joint effort of NRG Energy, Google, and BrightSource Energy. The companies say it will provide enough electricity to power 140,000 homes.
Most of the power will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, according to the Energy Department.
The San Francisco Chronicle has an in-depth look at the project here.
The Associated Press reports on the history of Ivanpah, calling it a “a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the West.”
“Ivanpah can be seen as a success story and a cautionary tale, highlighting the inevitable trade-offs between the need for cleaner power and the loss of fragile, open land,” AP reports.
Moniz, in a statement, called the project a demonstration of wider White House energy goals.
“We must continue to move toward a cleaner energy economy, and this project shows that building a clean-energy economy creates jobs, curbs greenhouse gas emissions, and fosters American innovation,” said Moniz, who also noted that installations of utility-scale solar projects in the U.S. set a record last year.
What We're Following See More »
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.
“I’m not going back to Saudi Arabia as long as" Mohammed Bin Salman is in charge, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News today. “I’ve been their biggest defender on the floor of the United States Senate. This guy is a wrecking ball. He had [Khashoggi] murdered in a consulate in Turkey and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused. The MBS figure is to me toxic, he can never be a world leader on the world stage.” Graham added that he intends to "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia.”