Obama reserves $2 billion dollars for US Solar Projects

Nearly $2 billion dollars in loan guarantees will be given to two companies to boost the US solar energy industry, President Barack Obama has announced.

One of the companies, Abenoga Solar, plans to build the largest solar power plant in the world in Arizona.

President Obama said the projects would provide more than 5,000 new jobs.

The Arizona plant will power 70,000 homes and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Most of the money will come from government stimulus funds designed to boost the economy during the recession.

Called the “Solana” project,  Abenoga said it would build on an area of 1,900 acres at Gila Bend near Phoenix, using thermal storage-equipped parabolic trough technology, with 280 MW of power output capacity.

According to the company’s website, 1,500 new jobs will be created during the plant’s construction with over 100 positions for staff to maintain it.

The second company, Abound Solar Manufacturing, will manufacture state-of-the-art thin film solar panels, the first time anywhere that such technology has been used commercially, the BBC’s Jane O’Brien reports from Washington.

Plants will be built in Colorado and Indiana, creating 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs, the Associated Press reports.

President Obama had promised during his election campaign for the White House to create manufacturing and construction jobs in the green power industry.

“We’re going to to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America,” he said on Saturday.

The renewable energy industry in the US faces tough competition from developers in China.

President Obama also acknowledged the loans would not be an instant solution.

Around 125,000 jobs were lost in the last month, the government reported.

TrendSetter Solar Products moves to USA

TrendSetter Solar Products Inc., a manufacturer of solar hot water heating and storage systems, says it will move its sourcing of thermal solar panels from China to the U.S.

“We are planning to establish manufacturing of solar thermal collectors, together with the manufacture of its proprietary Piggyback residential solar water heaters, in a strategic alliance with a major production facility,” says Norman Ehrlich, Trendsetter’s founder, chairman and CEO. “We plan to establish the manufacturing in northern Nevada with an established major production company.”

US Wins

An America team won the Solar Decathlon in Madrid where 17 solar-powered houses competed for most efficient prefab house. The winner is Virginia Tech’s Lumenhaus.

Virginia Tech Solar House

Runner ups were Germany’s elegant IKAROS house, the ultra-efficient Armadillo Box, and Finland’s beautiful wooden Luukku house.