I have good news. Today, the Department of Energy offered a $2.1 billion conditional commitment loan guarantee to support a concentrating solar thermal power plant near Blythe, California. This is the largest amount ever offered to a solar project through our the Department's Loan Programs Office.
The loan will support two units of the Blythe Solar Power Project that will have a combined 484 megawatt generating capacity. These units are part of a larger project, sponsored by Solar Trust of America, that when completed will generate 1,000 megawatts of solar power, enough to power 95,000 homes a year.
The project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs and is estimated to avoid more than 710,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 123,000 vehicles.
The Department's loan guarantees play a critical role in facilitating the large-scale deployment of innovative clean energy technologies. Including loans for advanced vehicle technologies, the Department has committed financing to support 27 clean energy projects that will create or save more than 60,000 jobs across the U.S.
Today, we are in a global race to develop and deploy clean energy technologies. We can either sit on the sidelines and watch the competition pass us by or we can get in the race and play to win.
When we rev up the great American innovation machine, we can out-compete any other nation.
To spur innovation and grow the domestic clean energy market, President Obama has proposed doubling the amount of electricity we generate from clean energy sources by 2035. Investments in projects like the Blythe Solar Power Project will help meet this goal while creating jobs and positioning the U.S. to lead in the solar industry.
Steven Chu is the United States Secretary of Energy.