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Ivanpah, which got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Obama administration, only produced a fraction of the power state regulators expected it would. The plant only generated 45 percent of expected power in 2014 and only 68 percent in 2015, according to government data.
Ivanpah — which is owned by BrightSource Energy, NRG Energy and Google — uses more than 170,000 large mirrors, or heliostats, to reflect sunlight towards water boilers set atop 450-foot towers that create steam to turn giant turbines and generate electricity.
The plant was financed by $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy in 2011. When the solar plant opened in 2014, it was hailed as a great achievement by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.
"This is an attempt by very large cash generating companies that have billions on their balance sheet to get a federal bailout, i.e. a bailout from us - the taxpayer for their pet project," said Reason Foundation VP of Research Julian Morris. "It's actually rather obscene."
The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years.
"They're already paying less than the market rate," said Morris, author of a lengthy report detailing alleged cronyism and corruption in the Obama administration's green energy programs. "Now demanding or asking for a subsidy in the form of a grant directly paying off the loan is an egregious abuse."
originally posted by: dothedew
From the description of how this plant functions, it seems like a middle school science project, upscale several thousand times. They actually procured funding for this?
The project's managers, BrightSource Energy and NRG Energy, originally estimated that the plant's main auxiliary boilers would need to run for an hour a day, on average, to allow the plant to capture solar energy efficiently. But after a few months of operation, they're now saying they need to burn more gas, with the boilers running an average of five hours a day.
To that end, the companies have asked the California Energy Commission (CEC) to change the project's license to allow Ivanpah to burn more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a year, and the plant's operators say that change won't have any environmental impact.
Ivanpah Solar Plant Owners Want To Burn a Lot More Natural Gas
originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: queenofswords
I believe Obama plans to pay for this from sales of his new clean energy car.
He just has to find a manufacturer who can make 12 foot rubber bands.
originally posted by: RAY1990
It produced 45% and 68% of expected energy output. I hardly call that a fraction of expected output.
I somewhat agree that government finances can be allocated more cautiously it always can but the world needs projects like this. From what I gather it was somewhat a success.
I'm correct in thinking this was a pilot, a test run so to speak on a new method of harnessing a renewable energy source. Correct?
I find it funny when people conplain about a leader who values scientific endeavours. Maybe the finances are wrong,possibly corrupt but somebody has to do the R & D and considering energy production is a national matter it shouldn't be suprising federal government has it's self involved.
A proposed Shell petrochemical refinery in Pennsylvania is in line for $1.6bn (£1bn) in state subsidy, according to a deal struck in 2012 when the company made an annual profit of $26.8bn.
ExxonMobil’s upgrades to its Baton Rouge refinery in Louisiana are benefitting from $119m of state subsidy, with the support starting in 2011, when the company made a $41bn profit.
A jobs subsidy scheme worth $78m to Marathon Petroleum in Ohio began in 2011, when the company made $2.4bn in profit.
In 2009, the G20 group of nations, which includes the United States, pledged to phase out “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” to curb greenhouse gas emissions and tackle anthropogenic climate change. However, according to a new report, not only is the U.S. government providing over $20 billion a year to oil, gas and coal producers, the amount has increased by 35 percent since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.