Facing a Friday deadline, the Energy Department has approved two loan guarantees worth more than $1billion for solar energy projects in Nevada and Arizona.They actually have $5 billion more ready to give away by Friday.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the department has completed a $737 million loan guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy for a 110 megawatt solar tower in Nevada, and a $337 million guarantee for Mesquite Solar 1 to develop a 150 megawatt solar plant in Arizona.
The loans were approved under the same program that paid for a $535 million loan to Solyndra Inc., a now-bankrupt solar panel maker that has become a rallying cry for Republican critics of the Obama administration's green energy program.
Update: More on those other loans forthcoming.
The Department of Energy is set this week to announce whether nine federal loan guarantees amounting to $6.5 billion for green energy projects will get final approval.
The number of full-time, permanent jobs they would create? According to the DOE's own figures, a grand total of 283. That is nearly $23 million per job.
It's also a drop in the bucket toward the five million green jobs President Obama promised as a candidate in 2008.