WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $45.6 million loan guarantee for a 20-megawatt AC photovoltaic solar generating facility in Nevada.
The offer, announced by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, will be supported by funding from the 2009 Recovery Act.
The project is sponsored by Fotowatio Renewable and will be developed about 25 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
At peak construction, the company estimates it will create 250 jobs.
"Today's announcement is yet another sign that Nevada is a major player in the growing solar industry," Chu said. "Investments like this one, along with the many other clean energy projects underway in the state, will help us to create jobs while positioning the U.S. to lead in the global energy race."
The facility will include over 90,000 polycrystalline silicon modules attached to single-axis horizontal tracker technology that will capture more energy than fixed-tilt photovoltaic systems, according to a statement from the department.
The project will be the second largest photovoltaic generation facility in the state and is expected to offset more than 31,000 tons of carbon pollution each year.
The facility is also expected to produce approximately 55,000 megawatt hours per year — enough to power more than 4,700 homes — which will be sold to the Nevada Power Company.
The Fotowatio application was received by lender-applicant John Hancock Life Insurance under the Financial Institution Partnership Program.
The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs office oversees programs that support the development of commercial technologies and innovative technologies that could avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions.
To date, the department has issued loans, loan guarantees or conditional commitment offers totaling more than $30 billion to support 30 clean energy projects across the country, according to the department’s statement.
"This announcement means three things for Nevadans: jobs, jobs and jobs," said Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. "It's why I fought so hard to protect the job-creating loan guarantee program when some in Congress were trying to kill the initiative entirely. Because we prevailed, our state is one step closer to becoming the clean energy jobs capitol of America and hundreds of Nevadans are about to go back to work."