When you think of Arizona you probably think of the desert, cacti and ample sunshine. These attributes make it a great state for a massive solar project. Abengoa Solar Inc. agreed that Arizona would be a great place for the world’s largest parabolic trough concentrating solar plant and the DOE seems to agree. This week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that they had finalized a $1.45 billion loan guarantee for the 250-megawatt Solana project.
The Solana project will be built near Gila Bend, Arizona – a desert community about 70 miles outside of Phoenix. Once completed, it should create enough energy to power 70,000 households and prevent about 475,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions when compared to a natural gas power plant.
"As the world's largest solar plant of its kind, the Abengoa's Solana project is playing an important role in creating jobs and clean energy for Arizona as well as fostering innovation in the U.S.," said Secretary Chu. "As today's announcement and other recent announcements of completed loan guarantees for wind and solar projects demonstrate, the Department's loan program is gaining momentum, creating jobs in communities across the country while putting us on the path to a clean energy future." Source: DOE
The bulk of the new jobs will be created during the construction project. Abengoa Solar estimates between 1,600 and 1,700 new jobs will be created while the facility is constructed. This will be a boon for Arizonans. Once the plant is in place, it will only require about 60 employees to keep it up and running but that is 60 new, permanent green jobs for the Gila Bend area.
For more information about this project, visit the Abengoa Solar Solana information page.