In the shadow of the Solyndra bankruptcy scandal, the embattled Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Guarantee Program announced on September 9, a $90.6 million loan guarantee to Cogentrix Energy of Alamosa for a solar energy project. A Cogentrix press release reported:
The loan guarantee will support the Alamosa Solar Generating Project, a 30 megawatt (MW) High Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV) power generation facility that will generate clean, emissions-free power in Colorado. The project, located in south-central Colorado near the city of Alamosa, represents one of the first utility-scale, high concentration photovoltaic energy generation facilities in the nation and, when completed, the largest of its kind in the world. Cogentrix estimates the project will support up to 100 construction jobs.
Although 100 jobs is a bit optimistic. According to the DOE, the project will create or save 10 permanent jobs, which means the cost per job “created or saved” is $9.6 million. However, if we include the 75 temporary construction jobs, the cost per job is a mere $1,065,882.35.
One more important point, Cogentrix Energy is a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, which could finance the project on its own. Why do that when the DOE can force taxpayers to play venture capitalists and assume all the risk?