Solar Power Plant Investors Apply For Taxpayer Funded Grant To Pay Off Their Federal Loan


First, they used a loan from the U.S. federal government to build the thing, and now they are asking for a taxpayer money grant to pay off 30% of the loan that built the Ivanpah Solar Power Plant in California, the world’s largest and most expensive.  Who are they?  The wealthy investors who believe in “clean, renewable” energy and have no shame in asking American taxpayers to pay off their debts – to the taxpayers – and not share any of the profits.  From Fox News:

The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years.

Given that American taxpayers financed the power plant that is producing a quarter of the promised output and is not self-sustaining like renewable energy is supposed to be, why should we bail out investors just because they believe in clean, green energy?

“NRG believes in a clean and sustainable energy future and therefore participates in available government programs to develop and expand the use of clean energy to accelerate America’s energy independence.” In 2013, the Obama administration handed out $18.5 billion in renewable energy grants, with $4.4 billion going to solar projects. 

Exploring all avenues of energy production in order to ensure American energy independence is great, but $1.6 billion spent on an underperforming power plant is awfully steep.  After all, the fuel needed to produce the product is sunshine and this year there were just too many clouds to reach peak production.  At least that is the excuse.  (You can’t make this stuff up.)  Then to add insult to injury, the people who promised all this clean and easy energy want more money to pay off the loan.  $539 million dollars or taxpayer money to pay back taxpayers.  What their profit from the power plant was in the last year is not clear, but given the healthy balance sheets of the investors, the application for any such grant alone is plain and simple hubris.

“This is an attempt by very large cash generating companies that have billions on their balance sheet to get a federal bailout, i.e. a bailout from us – the taxpayer for their pet project,” said Reason Foundation VP of Research Julian Morris. “It’s actually rather obscene.”

This is the same power plant that was exposed in recent months for flash frying birds who see the solar panels from the sky as they fly overhead and seem to dive bomb them as they would water in order to hunt fish.  It is estimated that 28,000 birds died via roasting thanks to the Ivanpah Solar Power Plant.  And the owners want taxpayers to underwrite their loss.

Only in America.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.