Energy Department Touts Controversial Loan Program as Huge Solar Project Opens

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz arrives for testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee April 9, 2013 in Washington, DC. Moniz, a nuclear physicist, testified before a full committee hearing on his pending nomination. 
National Journal
Feb. 13, 2014, 3:13 a.m.

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 »
ON VERMONT RADIO
Bernie Sanders Declares Bid
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS
Source:
HE PLANNED TO LEAVE ONCE BARR WAS CONFIRMED
Rosenstein to Leave DOJ in March
11 hours ago
THE LATEST
SUIT LED BY CALIFORNIA AG BECERRA
Sixteen States Sue Trump over Emergency Declaration
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"A coalition of 16 states filed a federal lawsuit Monday to block President Trump’s plan to build a border wall without permission from Congress, arguing that the president’s decision to declare a national emergency is unconstitutional. The lawsuit, brought by states with Democratic governors — except one, Maryland — seeks a preliminary injunction that would prevent the president from acting on his emergency declaration while the case plays out in the courts."

Source:
CITES FAMILY CONCERNS
Nauert Withdraws from Consideration as U.N. Ambassador
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"President Trump’s pick to serve as ambassador to the United Nations withdrew from consideration on Saturday, citing family concerns. His intended nominee, Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman at the State Department since 2017, said in a statement that 'the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration.' Ms. Nauert dropped from the running because she had a nanny who was in the United States legally but did not have the proper work visa, according to people familiar with the process."

Source:
AVOIDS SHUTDOWN WITH A FEW HOURS TO SPARE
Trump Signs Border Deal
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump signed a sweeping spending bill Friday afternoon, averting another partial government shutdown. The action came after Trump had declared a national emergency in a move designed to circumvent Congress and build additional barriers at the southern border, where he said the United States faces 'an invasion of our country.'"

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login