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DOE Backs Major Solar Project

by Ivan Pentchoukov
The Epoch Times, June 23, 2011

SUN POWER: With growing demand for more energy efficient homes, the home improvement chain Lowe is stocking its California shelves with solar products for do-it-yourselfers. (David McNew/Getty Images) The largest distributed rooftop solar power generation initiative in the world, Project Amp, was set in motion June 22, with an offer of a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Loan Program Office.

The DOE offer guarantees 80 percent of the $1.4 billion loan by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. According to an official statement, the $2.6 billion project will create an equivalent of 10,000 full-time jobs in 28 states over four years. Upon completion it will generate enough renewable energy to power 88,000 homes, while avoiding 580,000 tons of carbon pollution annually.

"This unprecedented solar project will not only produce clean, renewable energy to power the grid in states across the country, but it will help us meet the SunShot goal of achieving cost competitive solar power with other forms of energy by the end of the decade," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a press release.

The DOE SunShot initiative aims to reduce solar energy systems costs by 75 percent by 2020, eight times less the 2004 levels.

"In addition, Project Amp will create at least a thousand jobs across the U.S. and increase our global competitiveness in the clean energy race," Chu added. Project Amp is a consortium between Bank of America Merrill Lynch, NRG Energy, and Prologis.

The project will install solar panels on over 750 rooftops owned and managed by Prologis. Prologis will also provide access to facilities and act as the leading developer, construction manager, and program sponsor, while making an equity investment.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch will act as the sole lender and financial and structural adviser. Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy will finance the first phase of the project, which is ready for installation and construction in southern California.

"This important accomplishment transforms the dynamics of distributed solar generation, delivers a significant source of clean energy, and creates thousands of jobs across the U.S.," said Tom Montag, president of Global Banking and Markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a press release.

Ivan Pentchoukov
DOE Backs Major Solar Project
The Epoch Times, June 23, 2011

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