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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Reuters - Analysis: U.S. solar industry wants grant program extended

Fans of the program credit it with helping the United States install roughly 1,000 megawatts of solar-electric capacity this year, sustaining thousands of jobs in construction and installation and supplying enough power for up to 220,000 homes.

The program was created last year under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Under an already existing program, developers of renewable-energy initiatives could apply for investment tax credits that cover up to 30 percent of a project's costs.

The Recovery Act tweaked that program so that applicants could apply for cash grants instead of tax credits.

It has helped more than 1,300 renewable energy projects in 41 states, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, making it popular with many members of Congress.

'We're talking about thousands of construction jobs and ongoing operations jobs,' said Monique Hanis, a spokeswoman for the association. [11/16/10]

The Salem News (Ohio) - Loans helped add 48 jobs at 9 firms

Nearly 50 new jobs were created as the result of nine local businesses receiving loans ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 through a program funded with federal stimulus money.

The money loaned through the Laus Deo Foundation resulted in the creation of 48 new jobs and the retention of eight other positions.

'Not only are we proud of the number of new jobs created and saved with these loans, but there is also a positive ripple effect as these new and existing businesses buy products locally and the new jobs help 48 families receive paychecks,' said Craig Newbold. [11/13/10]

San Jose Mercury News (California) - Department of Energy pours funds into cleantech industry

When Congress passed the landmark stimulus bill in 2009, more than $90 billion was targeted at clean energy -- the largest investment of federal dollars in the energy sector ever. Nearly $3 billion was awarded to the Bay Area from the Department of Energy alone.

The infusion of money came at a critical juncture, filling a void when the global financial crisis and U.S. recession made other sources of funding hard to come by.

'Without a doubt, this is probably one of the clearest successes of the Obama administration,' said Steve Westly, a venture capitalist who invests in several cleantech companies. 'In the middle of the recession it was hard for companies to get credit, and the DOE stepped in at the right time. It was stunningly smart, and the private sector followed in massive ways.'

…as Recovery Act dollars are doled out across the country, local cleantech companies have also benefitted in indirect ways. Several of the nation's leading utilities were awarded significant Energy Department grants to help them modernize the electric grid. In turn, they've hired Silicon Valley smart grid start-ups like eMeter in San Mateo and Silver Spring Networks in Redwood City. [11/14/10]

WTOP 103.5-FM (Washington, D.C.) - Officials announce work on new National Mall levee

Construction of a new levee aimed at protecting downtown D.C. and the National Mall from river flooding is expected to be complete by summer of next year, federal and local officials say.

The levee -- funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- will be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers across 17th Street near Constitution Avenue in Northwest. Its cost is estimated to be between $8 and $9.5 million.

Officials say the levee will protect downtown D.C., the National Mall and portions of Southwest D.C. from flood damage if the Potomac River overflows its banks. [11/15/10]

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