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 Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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