Solar power advocates scored big this week with the announcement of a $2.1 billion federal loan guarantee for the Blythe Solar Power Project in California's Riverside Country. The 484-megawatt solar thermal development joins a list of 22 other solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuel projects that have received a total of $21 billion in conditional commitments.
The Obama administration has sent some mixed messages recently about energy policy, as calls for a comprehensive federal plan filled with renewable options have given way to endorsements of "clean" coal and natural gas exploration. But clearly there have been some inroads in the right direction.
"We could sit on the sidelines and watch the competition pass us by, or we could get in the race to win," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
The company said the project will create over 1,000 construction jobs and approximately 80 operations jobs. Impressive stuff.
Phase one of the Blythe Solar Proejct will start generating electricity in 2013.