Desert Sunlight Secures Crucial DOE Loan Guarantee

by Terrence Murray - October 3, 2011

A pioneering 550 megawatts solar photovoltaic power project in California has secured a $1.46 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

Desert Sunlight, the 550 megawatts PV project, jointly owned by NextEra Energy and GE Energy Financial Services, has secured a crucial $1.46 billion loan guarantee. The DOE’s final approval of the  guarantee launches construction of one of the world’s largest solar PV power plant. Once commercial Desert Sunlight will sell 250 megawatts of its power to Southern California Edison and 300 megawatts to Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

GE and NextEra acquired Desert Sunlight more than a year ago from First Solar, which  got its hand on Desert Sunlight as part of  its $285 million acquisition of  Nextlight Renewable Power.

As we’ve previously reported, the DOE is backing a loan arranged by Citi and Goldman Sachs.

Also, last week First Solar was forced to walk away from its 550-megawatt Topazproject because it was unable to meet deadlines supporting its application for a $1.9 billion loan guarantee. The Tempe, Ariz. is now in talks with potential buyers to take over the project.

On Friday Desert Sunlight was one of four  projects that secured DOE guarantees totaling $4.7 billion. Over the past couple of years the DOE  has approved more than $11.4 billion in loan backing 25 solar, wind and geothermal projects.


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