Thursday, July 14, 2016

Another Solyndra? Lawmakers Worry This Obama-Backed Solar Project Could Fail

by Michael Bastasch

House lawmakers grilled a Interior Department official over the green energy projects on federal lands, in particular taking aim at the troubled Ivanpah solar energy plant.

Georgia Republican Rep. Jody Hice even suggested Ivanpah, which has trouble living up to its contracts, could fail and potentially leave taxpayers on the hook for $1.6 billion in unpaid loan guarantees.

“So we have Ivanpah, for example, one of those companies — $1.6 billion dollars, three times that of Solyndra in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy,” Hice said during a hearing Wednesday before questioning Mike Nedd, who oversees energy projects for the Bureau of Land Management.

Hice was responding to news that California regulators were on the verge of shutting down Ivanpah  for not producing the amount of promised electricity. The plant only generated 45 percent of expected power in 2014 and only 68 percent in 2015, according to government data.

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