President says loan guarantees will create 5,000 jobs and support the first U.S. solar plant to provide energy through the night.

Solar_PanelsPresident Barack Obama has once again underlined the crucial role that low carbon technologies will play in leading the US out of recession, using his weekly address on Saturday to announce nearly $2bn (£1.3bn) in loan guarantees to two large-scale solar energy projects, which combined are expected to create up to 5,000 jobs.

Obama said the Department of Energy will this week approve $1.85bn in loan guarantees as part of the government’s economic stimulus package, citing the move as evidence that the administration is “accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy and doubling our use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power – steps that have the potential to create whole new industries and hundreds of thousands of new jobs in America”.

Spanish renewable energy firm Abengoa Solar is to receive $1.45bn in loan guarantees to help support the development of its proposed Solana solar farm near Gila Bend, Arizona, which is expected to generate enough power for around 70,000 homes.

Obama insisted that the project would provide a major boost for the US economy, while also providing the country’s first solar plant capable of storing energy and generating power overnight.

A further $400m in loan guarantees will be provided to Colorado-based Abound Solar Manufacturing to help support the development of two new solar panel manufacturing plants, which are expected to create 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.

Obama said that the loan guarantees were the latest in a long line of clean energy investments made under the US Recovery Act, which he argued were already creating jobs and helping to bolster US competitiveness.

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Source: BusinessGreen