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Abengoa Mojave Solar to receive $1.2 billion federal loan

Staff writer

The Department of Energy announced this week that it would be offering a conditional $1.2 billion federal loan for the Abengoa Mojave Solar project outside Hinkley.

The 250 megawatt Mojave Solar project will be constructed on private, disturbed land near Harper Dry Lake and an already existing solar plant.

The 1,765-acre project will power up to 80,000 homes once it is completed and will use parabolic solar trough technology — which tracks the sun and allows for storage.

Construction on the project is expected to create more than 830 construction jobs and 70 operating jobs, according to a release from the Department of Energy.

Abengoa Solar CEO Scott Frier previously said he expected to begin construction before Sept. 30. Calls to Frier on Friday were not immediately returned.

Construction resumes on units 2, 3 at Ivanpah

BrightSouce Energy and Bechtel resumed construction last week on two units of the Ivanpah solar facility where work was halted in April after surveys found a much larger number of threatened desert tortoises than expected.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services issued a revised biological opinion on the project and the Bureau of Land Management gave a notice for the entire project to proceed last week.
Construction on unit 1, the common area, and the power block area for unit 2 had continued after the April order.

BrightSource spokesman Keely Wachs said Friday that construction has resumed on fencing activities and desert tortoise activities for units 2 and 3. The project is still on-schedule to come online in 2013.

BrightSource president and CEO John Woolard said in a statement that he was pleased to move forward with the next phase of construction at Ivanpah.

“We look forward to hiring more workers, giving them good jobs, and to providing clean, reliable and cost-effective solar power at a meaningful scale,” Woolard said.

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