First Solar Looking at $4.5 Billion in Loans

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted June 30, 2011

June has been a great month for solar loans.

The U.S. Department of Energy has offered $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), a solar power company based in Tempe, Arizona, for its 3 new solar projects.

All three of these solar power plant projects will be located in California, and they are expected to create up to 1,400 new jobs.

The first, Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1, will be constructed in the Mojave Desert. It will produce 230 megawatts of power and will receive $680 million in loans.

The second project will be in Riverside County and is called Desert Sunlight. This project is getting $1.88 billion in loans for its 550 megawatts.

The third is called Topaz Solar, another 550-megawatt project in San Luis Obispo County. This will receive $1.93 billion in loans.

Together, the 1,330 megawatts could power up to 274,000 homes.

And the combined power, according to Reuters, is 30% more than what is produced from a large nuclear reactor.

All three projects will be selling power to Pacific Gas & Electric (NYSE: PCG), and Desert Sunlight will also offer energy to Southern California Edison, a branch of Edison International (NYSE: EIX).

The Antelope Valley project has received all of its permits, allowing it to begin construction as early as July, according to Reuters.

The other two projects hope to have permits completed within the next month.

Overall, the DOE has given $16 billion in loans to solar projects across the nation.

That’s only a fraction of what has been offered to renewable energy projects in general, which Bloomberg estimates at around $38 billion.

The promise of renewable energy is revealed through this government funding.

And considering the loans for solar projects is nearly half of what has been given to all renewable projects, the prospect of a huge boost in solar power is on the horizon.

First Solar was up around 7% after the announcement of the DOE loan.

That’s all for now,


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