While Barack Obama may have reneged on his promise to put solar panels on the roof of the White House by the end of spring, the US President shows no sign of backtracking on his other solar commitments.
The Government has already awarded more than US$8 billion in loan guarantees to half a dozen major PV developments projects and further indication of its backing was seen on Thursday as Energy Secretary Steven Chu paid a visit to Amonix’s new production facility in Las Vegas.
Chu was taken on a tour of the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) production facility, before leading a roundtable discussion, attended by several major figures within the industry.
As a former winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics and director of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Chu is not a newcomer to solar and he has been prominent in pushing forward the Obama Administration’s SunShot initiative.
“Secretary Chu has a long-standing interest in renewable energy sources. It’s an honor to have him visit Amonix to take a closer look at our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility,” said Amonix CEO Brian Robertson. “His visit emphasises the reality that utility-scale solar energy is an economically viable reality.”
Amonix manufacturing site was officially opened in May and will benefit the local economy to the tune of US$560 million, including the creation of over 300 jobs. Financing for the project came in the form of a US$5.9 million investment tax credit from 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and US$12 million in private capital.