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Abengoa, the international company that develops innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, has been offered a conditional commitment for a federal loan guarantee that will be used to build the Mojave Solar Project (MSP).
Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that the DOE has offered a conditional commitment for a $1.2 billion loan guarantee. The guarantee will support the construction and start-up of the Mojave Solar Project (MSP), a 280 gross megawatt (MW) Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant in California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. MSP will sell its production to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and will produce enough energy to serve 53,000 households and will prevent 350,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the atmosphere annually.
The construction and operation of MSP will represent a total investment of $1.6 billion dollars and will bring many economic and environmental benefits to California, while supporting the nation's goals for energy independence through a "green" economy. The plant will create as well significant tax income for local communities and the state over the life of the project.
The building of MSP will create new construction jobs peaking at about 1200, while averaging around 830, and another 70 permanent operation positions. Many indirect jobs will also be generated, including the numerous manufacturing jobs in the supply chain.
Abengoa has made it a priority to utilize U.S.-made components wherever possible for MSP. More than 80% of the equipment and supplies required to build MSP will be manufactured in the U.S. These include power equipment, high precision mirrors and other construction materials. The manufacturing of these key components in many states across the country will provide economic benefits and will help to secure and create jobs.
Abengoa plans to start construction of MSP in August and expects that the plant will start producing power in the summer of 2014. Abengoa signed a power purchase agreement with PG&E, one of the country's largest electric utilities, to sell the energy produced by MSP for its 25-year contract period.
From an environmental perspective, MSP will provide Californians with clean, pollution and greenhouse gas-free energy that will reduce California's need for fossil fuel based generation facilities, preventing nearly 350,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. This is the equivalent to the emissions of 68,000 vehicles on the road. MSP will contribute to California's state goal that by 2020, 33% of energy retail sales are sourced from renewable energy.
Abengoa is currently building 930 MW of solar plants worldwide, and with an additional 193 MW already operating, it is the only company worldwide building and operating both trough and power tower CSP plants. In the United States, Abengoa is building Solana, a 280 MW CSP plant in Arizona.