Andrew Beebe, chief commercial officer of Suntech, said that with Sempra, Zachry and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) involved, Mesquite Solar 1 will be built. Sempra already has a 20 year power purchase agreement with PG&E. Scheduled for completion in 2013, Mesquite Solar 1 will be one of the largest PV solar installations in North America, projected to create no permanent jobs. The project is supposed to provide 300 construction jobs.
The questions I must ask are: If Sempra has all of the above technology, facilities, partners, and money in place, why does it need a DOE loan guarantee? And when the construction jobs are gone, what new green jobs will be created?
Spain — Been There, Done That
Spain's solar project, a 2009 study at King Juan Carlos University found, spent more than half a million euros for each green job created since 2000. Further, the solar PV industry alone received subsidies of €2.6 billion in 2010. And, we learn that Spain is using the same technology proposed for both the Tonopah and Mesquite projects. But Spain ran out of money and ended solar power subsidies.
DOE Loan Guarantees
DOE has issued loans, loan guarantees, or conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling nearly $40 billion to support more than 40 clean energy projects, including several of the world's largest solar generation facilities, three geothermal projects, the world's largest wind farm, and the nation's first new nuclear power plant in three decades. So? Will the Tonopah Solar Project and the Mesquite Solar 1 project be profitable, or will they be another Solyndra, another hole into which taxpayer money will be poured with little or nothing to show? Spain could not make it work without massive subsidies that it had to end. Why does Obama think it will work here?