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Closing In On Deadline, DOE Finalizes Three Loans

While the solar industry continues to face the brunt of the criticism in the aftermath of the Solyndra investigation, the Department of Energy is quickly working toward its Sept. 30 deadline to close loan guarantees with three announcements in other industries.

The most recent deals to close will back a biofuel project, a New Hampshire wind farm and a geothermal plant in Nevada.

Wind

The DOE has finalized a partial guarantee for a $168.9 million loan to Granite Reliable Power to support a 99-megawatt (MW) wind generation project that could become New Hampshire’s largest wind farm. The project will be located in Coos County in northern New Hampshire, approximately 110 miles north of Concord. Project sponsors, BAIF Granite Holdings and Freshet Wind Energy expect the project will fund nearly 200 construction jobs.

The wind generation project will include 33 Vestas V90 3.0-MW wind turbines. The majority of the power from the project will be sold to Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power.

Geothermal

A partial loan guarantee for up to $350 million will support projects by Ormat Nevada that are expected to produce up to 113 MW and would increase geothermal power production in Nevada by nearly 25 percent. The facilities are Jersey Valley in Pershing County, McGinness Hills in Lander County and Tuscarora in Elko County. The company estimates the project will fund 332 jobs during construction and 64 during operations.

The geothermal facilities include the utility-scale deployment of the Ormat Energy Converter (OEC) modules. The OEC modules typically consist of pre-engineered units that include an integrated vaporizer, preheater, turbine-generator set, condenser and feed pump, all of which work together to convert the geothermal energy to electric power.

The project’s total output will be sold to Nevada Power Company under three separate long-term power purchase agreements.

Cellulosic Ethanol

The DOE gave final approval for a $105 million loan guarantee for the construction of POET's Project Liberty, a 25 million-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

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