DOE Offers First Loan Guarantee to Solyndra

The U.S. Department of Energy offered the first renewable energy loan
guarantee–worth $535 million–to California-based solar panel maker Solyndra, Inc.

The loan guarantee will be funded through the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act, which provides tens of billions of dollars in
loan guarantee authority for green energy stimulus.

The funding is meant to support the company’s construction of a
commercial-scale manufacturing plant for its proprietary cylindrical
solar photovoltaic panels. The company expects to create thousands of
new jobs in the U.S. while deploying its solar panels across the U.S.
and around the world.

"This investment is part of President Obama’s aggressive
strategy to put Americans back to work and reduce our dependence on
foreign oil by developing clean, renewable sources of energy," Energy
Secretary Steven Chu said. "We can create millions of new, good paying
jobs that can’t be outsourced. Instead of relying on imports from other
countries to meet our energy needs, we’ll rely on America’s innovation,
America’s resources, and America’s workers."

Solyndra’s photovoltaic systems are designed for commercial,
industrial and institutional roof tops, which the DOE considers to be a
vast, underutilized resource for the distributed generation of clean
electricity. Solyndra’s proprietary design transforms glass tubes into
high performance photovoltaic panels which are simple and inexpensive
to install.

Learn more about companies like Solyndra in Progressive Investor.

Based in Fremont, CA, Solyndra is currently ramping up production in
its initial manufacturing facilities. Once finalized, the DOE loan
guarantee will enable the company to build and operate its
manufacturing processes at full commercial scale, according to a DOE

Solyndra estimates the construction of its complex will employ
approximately 3,000 people and operation of the facility will create
more than 1,000 jobs.

The company also expects commercialization of its technology to be duplicated in multiple other manufacturing facilities.

Secretary Chu signed a "conditional commitment" for the loan
guarantee, following approval by the Department of Energy’s Credit
Review Board. The conditional commitment will require Solyndra to meet
an equity commitment as well as other conditions prior to closing.

The DOE said it performs due diligence on all projects,
including a thorough investigation and analysis of each project’s
financial, technical and legal strengths and weaknesses.

Secretary Chu initially set a target to have the first conditional
commitments out by May–three months into his tenure–but this
announcement outpaces that timeline.

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