recommended reading

Energy Department Touts Controversial Loan Program as Huge Solar Project Opens

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz testifies before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power  in September.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz testifies before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power in September. // Cliff Owen/AP

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will be in California on Thursday for the formal opening of a huge solar-power project supported by his department's green technology loan program.

The Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in the Mojave Desert, a vast array of mirrors that makes it the world's largest solar project of its kind, was helped along by a $1.6 billion Energy Department loan guarantee in 2011.

Department officials are touting it as a major win for the loan-guarantee program, which has faced years of political attacks from Republicans over the 2011 collapse of the solar-panel manufacturing company Solyndra and some other flops.

But department officials note that in the main, the loan portfolio of more than two dozen projects has been a success--and point to Ivanpah as a big example.

The loan program was created through a bipartisan 2005 energy law but first began supporting projects under the Obama administration.

"This project was made possible by the successful public-private partnership between the Department of Energy and the project sponsors," said Peter Davidson, executive director of the Energy Department's loan programs office.

Ivanpah, a $2.2 billion project, is a joint effort of NRG Energy, Google, and BrightSource Energy. The companies say it will provide enough electricity to power 140,000 homes.

Most of the power will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, according to the Energy Department.

The San Francisco Chronicle has an in-depth look at the project here.

The Associated Press reports on the history of Ivanpah, calling it a "a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the West."

"Ivanpah can be seen as a success story and a cautionary tale, highlighting the inevitable trade-offs between the need for cleaner power and the loss of fragile, open land," AP reports.

Moniz, in a statement, called the project a demonstration of wider White House energy goals.

"We must continue to move toward a cleaner energy economy, and this project shows that building a clean-energy economy creates jobs, curbs greenhouse gas emissions, and fosters American innovation," said Moniz, who also noted that installations of utility-scale solar projects in the U.S. set a record last year.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.