May 19, 2011 / 9:46 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-US DOE offers SolarReserve $737 mln in loan aid

* Funds will aid construction of 110 MW Nevada solar plant

* SolarReserve projects use molten salt storage technology (Adds details, changes dateline previous WASHINGTON)

LOS ANGELES, May 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Energy offered SolarReserve LLC a conditional $737 million loan guarantee on Thursday to support the development of a Nevada solar power plant.

The Santa Monica, California company was among a large group of companies competing for the coveted loan guarantees, which are awarded to projects deploying innovative energy technologies on a far larger scale than ever before.

    The loan guarantee will go toward construction of SolarReserve’s 110 megawatt Crescent Dunes solar power plant in Tonopah, Nevada. The project is expected to create 600 jobs during its 30-month construction.

    Construction will start this summer and the plant will begin operating in 2013.

    SolarReserve’s power plants will use molten salt energy storage technology licensed from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N). The company’s 150 MW Rice project is also going through the DOE loan guarantee application process.

    Founded in 2007, SolarReserve’s investors include US Renewables Group, Good Energies, Citigroup Inc (C.N), PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund LLC, Nazarian Enterprises, CalPERS, Argonaut Private Equity and Credit Suisse Group Ltd CSGN.VX. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe in Washington and Nichola Groom in Los Angeles; editing by Marguerita Choy and Andre Grenon)

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