Solar Plant Wants to Pay Off Massive Government Loan with Massive Government Grant

Scott Schackford

American taxpayers are on the hook for the Ivanpah solar project out in the California Mojave Desert close to the border of Arizona Nevada. The massive plant received $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy to build it, out of a total cost of about $2.2 billion.

The plant went online in December of last year. After operating for most of 2014, the plant seems to have hit a significant problem. It’s only producing about a quarter of the power it has promised. That could present a bit of a challenge paying back its loan. So what are they doing? Why they’re asking for a federal grant, of course. That is to say, they are asking for taxpayer dollars to pay back the loan that they got from the federal government that is guaranteed to be paid back with taxpayer dollars should the project fail…

…”This is an attempt by very large cash generating companies that have billions on their balance sheet to get a federal bailout, i.e. a bailout from us – the taxpayer for their pet project,” said Reason Foundation VP of Research Julian Morris. “It’s actually rather obscene.”

The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years…

…Oh, and it murders birds by the hundreds, possibly thousands. Maybe they can supplement their losses by opening a barbecue shack next to Interstate 15?


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