Nearly $2bn (£1.3bn) in loan guarantees will be given to two companies to kick-start the US solar energy industry, President Barack Obama has announced. One of the firms, Abenoga Solar, says that it is planning to build the largest solar power plant in the world in Arizona. Mr Obama said the projects would provide more than 5,000 new jobs. The Arizona plant should power 70,000 homes and cut carbon dioxide emissions. Outlining the “Solana” project at Gila Bend near Phoenix, Abenoga said it would have an area of 1,900 acres, using thermal storage-equipped parabolic trough technology, with 280 MW of power output capacity.