In September 2011, the Department of Energy issued two partial loan guarantees of $1.5 billion in total under the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP) to finance Desert Sunlight, a 550-MW photovoltaic (PV) solar generation plant. The facility is jointly owned by NextEra, General Electric, and Sumitomo of America and reached full commercial operations in January 2015. Desert Sunlight is one of the largest PV solar plants in the world.
LPO worked with 14 financial institutions to finance Desert Sunlight. The loan guarantees helped attract new lenders into the utility-scale photovoltaic market and provided them with experience financing utility-scale photovoltaic projects. As of October 2016, 45 additional PV projects larger than 100 MW have been financed without loan guarantees and many of them by banks that LPO had worked with through FIPP.
Desert Sunlight represents a major milestone in scaling up solar technology as one of the largest completed PV solar projects in the world. The project will deploy First Solar’s commercially-available Series 3 thin-film cadmium-telluride solar modules.
Desert Sunlight created 550 construction jobs and is expected to support 15 permanent jobs. It also used approximately 70,000 metric tons of American steel. At project completion, 8.9 million solar modules will have been installed at the project.
Desert Sunlight is expected to generate 1,060,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy per year while preventing 614,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
NextEra Energy, General Electric & Sumitomo of America
Riverside County, California
Partial Loan Guarantee
|Loan Amount 1||$1.5 Billion|
Projected Annual Generation 2
Permanent U.S. Jobs Supported
U.S. Construction Jobs Supported 3
CO2 Emissions Prevented Annually
614,000 Metric Tons
All information up-to-date as of June 2017.
1 Approximate amount of the loan facility approved at closing including principal and any capitalized interest.
2 Calculated using the project's and NREL Technology specific capacity factors. For cases in which NREL's capacity factors do not encompass project's specific design and operation, project specific capacity factors are used.3 Estimated at the time of closing.