Washington D.C. --- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $359.1 million loan guarantee to Mesquite Solar 1, LLC to support the development of a photovoltaic solar generating project. The optimized 150 megawatt (MW) alternating current (AC) photovoltaic (PV) solar generation project is sponsored by Sempra Generation and will be located in Maricopa County, Arizona, approximately 45 miles west of Phoenix. Sempra Generation estimates the project will create up to 300 construction jobs and 7-10 full time operating jobs.
"Taking advantage of the clean, renewable power in places like Arizona will help strengthen our nation's position as a leader in solar power," said Secretary Chu. "This innovative photovoltaic facility creates new jobs while producing greater efficiencies that will help make solar energy a more viable and reliable source of power in the future."
Mesquite Solar 1 will be one of the first large-scale utility PV power plants in the U.S. to use U.S.-manufactured innovative transformerless and liquid cooled inverter technology, which allows for significant improvements in energy output, a decrease in operating costs and improved reliability. The facility will avoid the emissions of over 193,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions of over 38,000 vehicles. The project is anticipated to generate nearly 350,000 megawatt hours of electricity in the first full year of production, or enough to power over 31,000 homes. Power from the project will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
The Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office administers three separate programs: the Title XVII Section 1703 and Section 1705 loan guarantee programs, and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. The loan guarantee programs support the deployment of commercial technologies along with innovative technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions, while ATVM supports the development of advanced vehicle technologies. Under all three programs, DOE has issued loans, loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling over $33 billion to support 33 clean energy projects across the U.S. The program's 18 generation projects produce over 28 million megawatt-hours annually, enough to power over two million homes. To date, the program has committed over $10 billion in loan guarantees to solar generation projects, including four of the world's largest solar projects. DOE has also issued conditional commitments or loan guarantees to support numerous other projects, including three solar equipment manufacturing plants, two geothermal projects, the world's largest wind farm and the nation's first new nuclear power plant in three decades. For more information, please visit the Loan Programs Office.