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Agua Caliente Solar gets $967 million loan guarantee

The loan guarantee from the U.S. Energy Department will support the construction of the 290-megawatt facility in Arizona, the biggest to use photovoltaic panels.

The U.S. Energy Department said on Thursday it awarded a $967 million loan guarantee to an NRG Energy subsidiary to help pay for the world's biggest solar power plant using photovoltaic panels.

The loan guarantee will support the construction of the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente Solar generating facility in Yuma County, Ariz., that will use thin solar panels.

The facility will help the Obama administration meets its goal to double the amount of U.S. electricity generated from renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.

"Solar projects like this are helping the U.S. to compete globally for the clean energy jobs of today and the future," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

"Together, we will create hundreds of jobs and reduce the nation's fossil fuel dependence and carbon intensity," said Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar.

Pacific Gas & Electric will purchase power generated at the solar plant and deliver it to its customers in California. The plant is expected to be built by 2014.