Solar plant gets offer for conditional loan guarantee

The Department of Energy has offered a conditional commitment for a $45.6 million loan guarantee to support a 20-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant going up 20 miles north of Las Vegas, officials said Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the offer in a statement.

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures of Spain will build the plant, called Spectrum Solar. Spectrum Solar would be able to power more than 7,000 homes in Clark County.

The Department of Energy is supporting the project with funding from the 2009 Recovery Act.

Construction is scheduled to start as early as 2011, with completion to follow sometime in late 2012. Fotowatio Renewable Ventures estimates the project will create 250 jobs at peak construction. Power from the project will be sold to NV Energy.