Solar power just got a boost.

Google isn’t the only one investing in solar power. The U.S. Department of Energy has just announced new conditional loan guarantees that should inject about $2 billion into two large-scale solar thermal projects…

Projects Should Create Around 1,800 Jobs, Help Drive Costs Down
The first concentrating solar project is located in the Mojave desert in San Bernardino County, California. It’s close to the solar farm that recently received an investment of $168m from Google a few weeks ago, but while it’s not 100% clear, it seems like it’s going to be a different one (the Google farm will be made by Brightsource Energy and be rated at 393MW, while this one is made by Abengoa Solar and rated at 250MW).

The second solar thermal project getting a conditional loan is the Genesis Solar Project, located on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Riverside County, California. Like the Mojave project, it is rated at 250MW. The two projects’ combined capacity will double the nation’s currently installed concentrating solar capacity and will no doubt help drive down the cost of building new projects through economies of scale and a build up of expertise.

The Mojave Solar Project will avoid over 350,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and is anticipated to generate enough electricity to power over 53,000 homes. […] The 250MW Genesis Solar Project will feature proven and scalable parabolic trough solar thermal technology that has been used commercially for more than two decades. The project is expected to avoid over 320,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually and produce enough electricity to power over 48,000 homes.

Abengoa Solar estimates that its project will create more than 830 construction jobs and 70 operating jobs, while NextEra Energy, the Genesis Solar project sponsor, estimates that its project will create approximately 800 construction jobs and 47 operating jobs.