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Summary:

The solar arm of Spanish engineering firm Abengoa is planning to break ground on one of the largest solar thermal plants in the world in Arizona next year…if the U.S. government extends its solar incentive program, Abengoa Solar CEO Santiago Seage tells MarketWatch in this video […]

The solar arm of Spanish engineering firm Abengoa is planning to break ground on one of the largest solar thermal plants in the world in Arizona next year…if the U.S. government extends its solar incentive program, Abengoa Solar CEO Santiago Seage tells MarketWatch in this video clip (embedded below). Seage says the company will start construction on the 284 MW, 1,900-acre solar plant called Solana in 2009 “if we have an ITC (investment tax credit) extension” — which would keep in place the tax credit that is set to expire by the end of the year and provides funds for 30 percent of the cost of a solar system.

We’re not sure what the company’s plans for Solana are if the ITC is not extended (the company already has a contract with Arizona utility APS to buy the clean power). What is becoming clear is that solar companies are starting to realize that they might need a Plan B. Solel CEO Avi Brenmiller has said that his company won’t be able to build a planned 553 MW solar thermal project without the credit. And the CEO of solar panel maker SunPower recently said it would start focusing on markets outside the U.S. if the credit doesn’t survive (check out that full story in SunPower CEO: No U.S. Solar Incentives? No Solar For You).

While many are expecting, and hoping, the ITC will get attention this year, the U.S. government doesn’t seem to be moving too quickly on it. Just this week a bill to extend it failed to get enough votes to move it into debate and an overall vote in the Senate. The end of the year is fast approaching and as Donna Flynn, Washington Council for Ernst & Young, said at a recent solar conference, the solar industry is in big trouble if the ITC isn’t extended very soon — “before July 1st” — she said. That’s about a week-and-a-half away.

  1. I hope they do get the tax break, enough to continue on this direction and make it happen.

  2. This is the best news. I hope this plant is built and serves as a model for other places. http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com.

  3. leonard ottwell Saturday, August 9, 2008

    the ITC should be extended only to american companies. there are too many other companies coming into the USA and controlling our way of life,(china ,opec,japan ect.) WAKE UP AMERICA.

  4. Solar Map: Over 30 Utility-Scale Solar Plants in the U.S. « Earth2Tech Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    [...] should Congress fail to renew the investment tax credit in a timely manner. We’ve heard from utility giants and solar executives that without the ITC the future of large-scale solar is stuck in [...]

  5. SolarReserve Heats Up With $140M for 5GW of Solar Thermal « Earth2Tech Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    [...] Department of Energy, but should the renewable energy tax credits not get renewed, SolarReserve, like other solar startups, will likely look outside the U.S. for development opportunities. The company plans to have its [...]

  6. SolarReserve Heats Up With $140M for 5GW of Solar Thermal [Earth2Tech - Start-Up News] | Internet Startups Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    [...] Department of Energy, but should the renewable energy tax credits not get renewed, SolarReserve, like other solar startups, will likely look outside the U.S. for development opportunities. The company plans to have its [...]

  7. Solar Feeds Gadgets » SolarReserve Heats Up With $140M for 5GW of Solar Thermal Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    [...] Department of Energy, but should the renewable energy tax credits not get renewed, SolarReserve, like other solar startups, will likely look outside the U.S. for development opportunities. The company plans to have its [...]

  8. Abengoa Solar Likely to Get New Neighbors in Ariz. Desert « Earth2Tech Friday, January 30, 2009

    [...] financed directly or through power-purchasing agreements with outside developers. First up: a 280-MW concentrating solar plant being built by Abengoa, which has stated a goal of building and operating large solar plants across [...]

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