Gallery: Department of Energy Gives $1.4 Billion to Largest US Solar Pr...


Secretary of Energy Steven Chu just announced a conditional guarantee for a loan of up to $1.4 billion for Project Amp, the largest solar project in US history, which will work like a decentralized power plant. The project aims to install 733 megawatts of photovoltaic solar panels on rooftops across the country that will feed power into the grid, instead of into the building they are on top of. When the project is finished, it will supply about one million megawatt hours and save 580,000 tons of carbon pollution per year.

This unprecedented solar project will not only produce clean, renewable energy to power the grid in states across the country, but it will help us meet the SunShot goal of achieving cost competitive solar power with other forms of energy by the end of the decade,” said Secretary Chu. “In addition, Project Amp will create at least a thousand jobs across the U.S. and increase our global competitiveness in the clean energy race.”

Secretary Chu announced the SunShot initiative shortly after President Obama’s State of the Union speech called on the country to treat our renewable energy future like we treated putting a man on the moon. The SunShot initiative aims to drop the total installed cost of solar energy to $1 per watt by 2020. Eventually, Project Amp will have solar panels installed and feeding the grid from 750 existing rooftops in 28 states and the District of Columbia which will provide enough power for 88,000 homes. Though that is just a small amount of the power needed nationwide, this project could provide a model for the future. There are surely a lot more than 750 commercial buildings across this great country that are just sitting around waiting to put their solar potential to use.

+ US Department of Energy


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  1. lazyreader June 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

    In thirty years, those panels will be obsolete. They’ll be obsolete in just 10 years and they’ll spend billions more to buy new panels so they will never pay for themselves.

  2. sammael June 25, 2011 at 9:14 am

    No, that would be 2,400 dollars for ONE year.
    Now if we spread that over 30 year lifespan (its acctually more then 30 years, but lets say 30 years) of the project we get 80 dollars per ton, which is smack in the middle of current CO2 trading schemes.

  3. lazyreader June 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    1.4 billion!!! To save 580,000 tons of carbon annually. That’s over 2,400 dollars per ton. Far far more than the current CO2 trading schemes allowing for 50 to 100 dollars per ton.

  4. dvautier June 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Interesting. I wonder what the agreement is with the building owners whom agree to have the panels on their buildings. There has to be some incentive there for them. Do they get free electricity, fee or what? Interesting approach of using existing buildings and not a big patch of land somewhere.

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