A new large-scale commercial solar thermal plant planned for federal land in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California is closer to becoming a reality, after the U.S. Department of Energy conditionally agreed to back $1.37 billion in loan guarantees. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, being developed with venture capital funds by BrightSource Energy, Inc., will employ BrightSource’s heliostat technology to track the sun in two dimensions in order to capture more solar energy. The guarantees are conditioned upon BrightSource’s ability to clear regulatory hurdles imposed by the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. The guarantees were made under DOE’s Title XVII loan-guarantee program, which was developed to support commercially proven technology under the 2005 Energy Policy Act.