California Scores $8.5B in Stimulus Subsidies

By Published On: October 7, 2011

California received about $8.5 billion of federal financial assistance for renewable energy projects under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act passed in 2009. As the Department of Energy loan guarantee program closed Sept. 30, big California Solar developers had amassed guarantees totaling $7 billion for projects with generation capacity totaling 1,913 MW. Those developments are expected to create 253 permanent jobs when completed, plus 3,880 construction jobs while they are built. Wind developers received the biggest cash grants from the Treasury under the Recovery Act, according to the most recent data. California companies so far have received $1 billion in cash grants. California wind energy subsidies under Treasury’s cash grant program went to Alta Wind, which got $120 million, FPL Energy, which garnered $23 million, and Hatchet Ridge Wind, which scored $80 million. California solar projects receiving DOE loan guarantees were: -Abengoa Solar--$1.2 billion, 250 MW Mojave Solar project, San Bernardino County; -BrightSource Energy--$1.6 billion, 383 MW project, Baker; -First Solar--a $646 million partial guarantee, 230 MW Antelope project, Lancaster; -First Solar--a $1.46 billion partial guarantee, 550 MW Desert Sunlight project, Riverside County; -NextEra Energy Resources--an $852 million partial guarantee, 250 MW Genesis Solar project, Riverside County; and -SunPower--$1.237 billion, 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch project, San Luis Obispo County. In addition, DOE provided a loan guarantee for $535 million under the Recovery Act for the bankrupt solar manufacturing company Solyndra in Fremont. California solar power purchase agreement sellers also got cash under the Treasury program. Among the most notable were SunRun Solar, which received $49 million, and USB SolarCity, at $35 million. While the DOE loan guarantee program ended, Treasury’s cash grants program remains in place for projects that break ground by the end of this calendar year.

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