California Solar Development Gets $77 Million Loan

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The North American Development Bank recently announced the signing of a $77.4-million-dollar loan for a 23-megawatt solar energy plant in the city. The solar plant, which will be constructed by Imperial Valley Solar Company 1, will be able to power fourteen thousand homes.

“We are very pleased to participate in this project that will provide a cleaner energy alternative to citizens in southern California,” said NADB Managing Director Geronimo Gutierrez, adding that the bank has been trying to forge a partnership with businesses in renewable energy.

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Renewable energy, or energy that comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat which are renewable (naturally replenished), is growing fast around the world and especially in California. Renewable electricity production, from sources such as wind power and solar power, is sometimes criticized for being variable or sporadic. But the International Energy Agency has stated that deployment of renewable technologies usually increases the diversity of electricity sources, gives communities more options, through local generation, and contributes to the flexibility of the system and its resistance to central shocks.

Climate change concerns, global warming, high oil prices, peak oil and increasing government support are driving increasingly strong and widespread renewable energy legislation, incentives, and commercialization. The market for renewable energy technologies continues to grow as even businesses and home owners seek to utilize solar panels.

The California Public Utilities Commission said that three large electricity providers in the state saved 18 percent of their 2010 energy sales with renewable power, including Southern California Edison saving 19.4 percent. All forms of energy are expensive, but as time progresses, renewable energy generally gets cheaper, while fossil fuels generally get more expensive.

Once the renewable energy infrastructure is built, the fuel is free, unlike carbon-based fuels. The wind, the sun, and the earth itself provide fuel for free in amounts that are effectively limitless. So, once the infrastructure is in place, the process is essentially without any cost and can continue to thrive and provide energy for people for little to no extra charge. A community would have power to operate street lights, open their garage doors, and have their porch light on without harming the environment all through free solar energy.

The company said the project is part of the plan to comply with the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which will require electric service providers have about a third of their energy supply be from renewables by 2020.  The CPUC said the penalty for non-compliance by 2020 is a deficit of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour, up to $25 million per year.

Photo Credit: Sunwheel Energy Partners

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