Failing Ivanpah Solar Plant Wants Federal Grant To Repay Federal Loan

Unsurprisingly, the “world’s largest solar plant” is struggling, so they want a bailout from US taxpayers to help repay the loan provided on the taxpayers back

(Fox News) After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.

“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.

The loan itself was at a lower than market rate, and, apparently, Google and NRG have no cash themselves. Despite that almost $11 billion in net revenue Google generated in 2013.

But since [Ivanpah was unveiled in February] the plant has not lived up to its clean energy promise. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the plant produced only about a quarter of the power it’s supposed to, a disappointing 254,263 megawatt-hours of electricity from January through August, not the million megawatt-hours it promised.

It’s failing to generate the promised power? Only 1/4 of what was promised? The hell you say! Here’s a good reminder of the way the different methods shake out

That’s from the Mad, Mad, Mad World Of Climatism, where we see the capacity being 16%, which is about normal. 50MW promised, 8 delivered, using 2 square miles for a power density of 4. Only wind is worse for density, though capacity tends to be better. And that’s what tends to happen with solar: big promises, low returns, when it comes to these giant plants. One day it will be ready for prime time. That day is not here. Yet.

A NRG spokesman blamed the weather, saying the sun didn’t shine as often as years of studies predicted. However by the four-year mark, NRG has “every confidence that the plant will function as anticipated for the life of the facility,”according to the company.

Um, Ok. You took $1.6 billion in taxpayer money and had a faulty study that resulted in losing three-fourths of your projected power generation? If “the weather” isn’t cooperating now, why would it cooperate in the future, when your studies were wrong? Could it be that the plant is just not capable of producing the power promised? Hey, maybe the spokesman thinks birds are weather

The problem is that birds see the mirrors as water. As they approach, the 800º F solar beams roast any bird that happens to fly by. A recent study released by the California Energy Commission conducted by the Center for Biological Diversity called Ivanpah a “mega-trap” that will kill up to 28,000 birds a year.

28K birds could block a lot of light, eh? Of course, Ivanpah disputes the numbers, much like they live in a fantasy land where the plant will suddenly start working and generating the promised power. It’s like watching one of those restaurant rescue shows where the owners and/or cooks say “hey, they love our food!” and the host says “who’s they? The restaurant is empty.”

I’ll say it one more time: if we’re going to use federal money for grants and loans, I’d like to see it go more towards R&D in order to make the alternatives, primarily wind and solar (we know hydro and geothermal actually work), worthwhile. And, focus more on small scale projects, like for homes and small buildings.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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8 Responses to “Failing Ivanpah Solar Plant Wants Federal Grant To Repay Federal Loan”

  1. Jeffery says:

    The large installations are more efficient and use the existing grid. They also reward the big investors, corporations and executives. The smaller PV residential installations reward individuals, and our economic system hates that. Remember, we bailed out the banksters but kicked people out of their homes.

  2. I’m not so sure they would be more efficient than alternatives use for small projects, like homes. Much easier for capture and storage. And would get people off the grids.

    Unfortunately, they do reward who you say, as pushed by politicians of both parties. It’s not so much the economic system as our political system and how they distort the free market. But, I do take your point, particularly about bailing out wall Street and not main street.

  3. jl says:

    “The sun didn’t shine as often as studies predicted” Oh, my- you mean the fortune tellers didn’t take into account their obviously horrible prediction rate on all things climate related?

  4. […] Oh, and on top of that, Ivanpah is only delivering about one quarter of the energy they promised. Maybe it’s the birds. […]

  5. […] Failing Ivanpah Solar Plant Wants Federal Grant To Repay Federal Loan By William Teach | November 9, 2014 – 8:00 am […]

  6. TrishMac says:

    I “googled” Ivanpah. I chose a “pro” solar power article, and here it is. The comments are amusing, as well as the article that barely conceals the horrifically poor production at this plant.

    My fav comment is this one: “So this doesn’t generate enough power sufficient to heat the birds to a temperature where it would be safe to eat them?”

    Teach- I am with you- these large scale wind and solar plants seem to have a great number of flaws. When used in private homes etc, they tend to work far better!

  7. Jeffery says:

    these large scale wind and solar plants seem to have a great number of flaws. When used in private homes etc, they tend to work far better!

    That makes sense if you don’t think about it. How effective are a bunch of PV homes in Seattle? Solar needs to be where the sun shines. Wind power where the wind blows!

  8. Solar needs to be where the sun shines

    Like Ivanpah? 🙂

    The thing is, there needs to be a good mix. But, even you have to admit that putting our energy needs in the hands of politicians and corporations, some who will be good, others not, is less desirable that having it our own hands. Some areas will need different methods. But, I would still love to see more development of alternatives for homes and small buildings rather than giant projects.

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