President Obama pledges $2 billion support to 2 US solar power projects

US President Barack Obama today announced nearly $2 billion in conditional commitments by the Department of Energy to 2 solar energy companies. He said the new investments would come from the Recovery Act, the economic stimulus package enacted by the US Congress in February 2009.

Abengoa Solar will build one of the largest solar plants in the world, in Arizona, which will create about 1,600 construction jobs with over 70 per cent of the construction components and products manufactured here in the USA, the president said.

When completed, this plant will provide enough clean energy to power 70,000 homes.

Abound Solar Manufacturing, another energy firm, is building two new plants, one in Colorado and the other in Indiana. These projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs, and over 1,500 permanent jobs as the plants produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels each year, he said.

"These are just two of the many clean energy investments in the Recovery Act. Already, I've seen the payoff from these investments. I've seen once-shuttered factories humming with new workers who are building solar panels and wind turbines; rolling up their sleeves to help America win the race for the clean energy economy," the president said.

He said the investments are part of the fight to advance the country's economic recovery. "And we're going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America," he said.

That's one of the reasons why we're accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy and doubling our use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power - steps that have the potential to create whole new industries and hundreds of thousands of new jobs in America, Obama said.