U.S. commits to rooftop solar plan

June 23, 2011 at 6:32 AM

WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Department said it would provide a partial loan guarantee for a solar power project that could meet energy needs of more than 88,000 homes.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said his department was providing a partial guarantee for $1.4 billion to support Project Amp.

Project Amp envisions the installation of solar panels on industrial buildings across the United States. It calls for the installation of around 733 megawatts worth of solar panels, which is roughly the total amount installed in the country last year.

Chu's loan is part of the so-called SunShot program, which would spur U.S. innovations to reduce the costs of solar energy.

"This unprecedented solar project will not only produce clean, renewable energy to power the grid in states across the country but it will help us meet the SunShot goal of achieving cost competitive solar power with other forms of energy by the end of the decade," he said in a statement.

Project Amp calls for the distribution of solar panels on about 750 rooftops. It would provide enough power to meet the annual energy demands of more than 88,000 homes and avoid around 580,000 tons of harmful emissions per year.

Construction starts in September.

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